flickr photo by giulia.forsythe https://flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/10310176123 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license
Like many, I am guilty of not being balanced when it comes to technology. The last thing I do before I go to bed and the first thing I do when I wake up is look at my phone. The other day, I had 10 hours of screen time! A lot of it was for COETAIL but it was still a lot.
Coincidentally, some of my screen time was watching a Modern Family episode called “Unplugged.” In the episode, they are trying to see who can last the longest without technology. There was one scene that gave a pretty good picture of how frustrating life can be without internet. I unsuccessfully tried to find the clip so I will have to sum it up. Claire was trying to talk to a customer service rep about something she could have done online. She finally got so frustrated with the automated voice that she gave up and got online to do it.
Life without internet is difficult but finding balance is a must. I have struggled with how much screen time is a good amount in my classroom. I also think it is easy for teachers to not use it here because a lot (not all) of our parents do not regulate their children’s screen time and content. I am sure this happens everywhere but it feels like it happens often here because of the high number of nannies who are in charge of the children.
I have been met with resistance from parents and other teachers when it comes to technology in the classroom because “they get enough of that at home.” What kind of technology are they getting though?
Common Sense Media explains that there are different types of screen time. Some types of screen time are valuable like content creation. There still needs to be balance no matter the type.
Some of my hesitation to use technology has come from this resistance. I have started to realized that most of the screen time they are getting at home is passive consumption and interactive consumption. While some interactive consumption can be good, not all video games and online content is appropriate for young children.
My take away from this week: It is my job to teach them (parents and students) how to have screen time that includes communication and content creation. Isn’t our goal as teachers for our students to take what they have learned and apply it to their lives both inside and outside of school.
My school does not have any technology standards in place so even with technology being used and encouraged in the school, I have not done any digital citizenship lessons.
Over the past couple of weeks and courses, I have been blaming my school for not having standards in place. I have been blaming other teachers for not teaching my students technology skills. I have been blaming my students for being too young. I have been blaming parents for not sending devices with their children and allowing them to do whatever they want on those devices at home. I need to stop blaming!
Even without standards in place, without a device for every child, without other teachers on board, with young students, I can teach them how to appropriately use technology and have balance in their lives. Common Sense Media is an amazing resource. I plan on using their lessons on digital citizenship to create some good base knowledge about technology in my students. All I can do is hope that this carries over to their lives outside of school and beyond grade 1.