Believe it or not, my students are not always on task 100% of the time. And believe it or not, my students sometimes don’t turn in their homework on time. And I have to admit, I’ve caught my students passing notes and texting in class. And all of those things happened before and after the advent of every student having a computer.
For my final CoETaIL project, I worked with Adam, Alex, Monna, and Sunita to create a slideshow showing how student behaviors haven’t become worse because they have access to computers. It’s just different. For instance, I used to worry about my kids showing up without their books and pencils. Now I worry about kids not charging their computers. I know that if I have planned an engaging lesson, my kids will be on task despite the temptation to jump on Facebook when I’m not looking. That is no different than 10 years ago when I would lose control of my class because of a boring lesson. And I would worry about a loner student sitting alone in a hallway the same way I worry about a kid who seems to be spending too much time online to avoid face to face interactions.
There are many other examples we could have included in this slideshow and please add other examples in the comments. The point is that as teachers we are responsible for educating and caring for our students despite (or because of) their foibles and mistakes. We don’t need to be worried about technology…we’ve been dealing with these issues for a long time.