October 29, 2017

“Children like to use technology…”
“Add Kahoot to your class because the kids will like it…”
“The learners prefer to write their answers…”
“I asked the learners to research a topic, and they said they prefer that I teach it to them…”

I can go on and on. Comments like these are common in staffrooms and even more widespread at technology conferences. Both sides of the technology camp call on kids preference to prove their point.

I used this image recently at a training session, and it was the start of an interesting conversation. But that is a post for another day. Today I am pondering why are we putting so much emphasis on what children like when it comes to technology.

As teachers, we are educated professionals, with training and experience in both our subject and how kids learn, so why are we letting teenagers dictate what happens in class?
As you know by now, I am a huge fan of using Kahoot. And yes part of it is because the kids enjoy it. But there are only a few topics in maths where I find it useful. So even though the kids often beg me to play Kahoot, we don’t always, because there would be no educational purpose to it.

But the opposite is also true. Recently I had a conversation with a fellow teacher where she told me that she does not make use of the available technology, because her students prefer her to teach them, instead of researching the topic themselves.
Off course, the students prefer her to teach them. Not only are they familiar with her style of teaching, but it is the road of least resistance. But the more effort you put into acquiring knowledge, the better you retain it. The road of least resistance is seldom the best from an educational point of view.

So can we please stop putting so much emphasis on what learners like and what they dislike and start basing our decisions on educationally sound principles.

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