Today, I came across an interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune (dated April 21, 2009) on a unique experiment on the use of technology in a classroom.
An English teacher at a Northridge School asked his students to do something unusual in the middle of class – to text their research paper topics using their cellphones, which then appeared on a Web page that was projected onto a screen at the front of the classroom.
The class spent another 10 minutes discussing their papers via text messaging. The following were the teachers’ observations on the experiment:
- The class was more attentive during the experiment
- It prompted more class participation than during traditional discussions
- It allowed everyone to have input including students who are generally shy and wouldn’t speak up
- It saved time as the students were engaged in thought instead of conversation
Most students who were quizzed about the experiment agreed that texting was one of the best ways to grab their attention as it was big part of student life in the modern world.
Many educators and students, however, acknowledge that texting during class continues to be a problem. However, learning to control such problems are part of the challenge of new technology. Twenty or 30 years ago, students indulged in similar disruptive behaviour using notes and pictures.
This experiment illustrates the fact that schools need to be innovative in embracing and accepting emerging technology. Technology, if used intelligently and creatively can be beneficial for both the school as well as the student.
For full article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Click here