Nadia Jones blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, and movie related topics.
School technology specialist Brad Flickinger’s recently proposed a student technology bill of rights, which articulates the ways in which educators should regulate appropriate technology use with students. The bill essentially comes as a welcome sign to those involved in education to take a stand in spelling out what I believe – should already been a given.
Published on Digital Learning Environment’s blog, Flickinger’s bill outlines the basic needs of all students who hope to navigate the 21st century as children and as future adults.
Preparing Students for Employment
One of the most important points that Flickinger makes is that the possibility of a livable employment now absolutely depends on having complete facility with technology. Flickinger’s seventh right in the bill reads, “I have the right to be taught by teachers who teach me and demand that I use 21st Century Skills. Someday I am going to need a job — please help me be employable.”
Educating Digital Natives
Another recurring theme throughout Flickinger’s bill is that students should not be penalized for knowing more about technology than teachers. Although it may be difficult for teachers to keep up with the latest in technology, their digitally native pupils should be allowed to take the initiative to implement technology into the learning process.
As Flickinger notes, “I have the right to submit digital artifacts that prove my understanding of a subject, regardless of whether or not my teacher knows what they are. Just because you have never heard of Prezi, Voki, or Glogster, doesn’t mean that I should not be able to use these tools to prove to you that I understand what you are teaching me.”
Revamping Teacher Training
Flickinger also brings to the forefront the importance of revising the way that we train teachers. Of course, learning the principals of pedagogy and staying up-to-date on respective subject matter are absolutely essential in breeding teachers who make a difference. Yet, there must be specific focus on teaching teachers technological literacy. Teachers will completely embrace Technology technology in the classroom only once they know how to manipulate technology tools as easily as their students.
Regulating and Informing Internet Use
As a completely unregulated space, the Internet can be a dangerous world, especially for children. Instead of responding to these dangers by completely blocking entire swaths of the Internet, teachers and administrators should educate students about these dangers, much in the same way that students are educated about sexually-transmitted diseases and drugs. Instead of completely ignoring the discussion about dangers abounding on the Internet, let’s address it in a systematic way. Opting for complete silence and censorship is not the answer. Let’s not, in the words of Flickinger, “throw the techno-baby out with the bathwater.”
It is as yet unclear whether Flickinger’s bill will have an impact on educators. Yes, considering that such renowned publications like Good Magazine have picked up the story, we at least know that the conversation about the proper use of classroom technology is picking up speed.