- As technology continues to permeate students’ classroom experiences, two Virginia social studies teachers argue in a new book that the quality of instruction makes the difference in students’ engagement in what they are learning — not always the latest high-tech tools, according to Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews.
The book, “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber,” suggests three core principles for good teaching — provide instruction in the simplest way possible, focus lessons on what students are able to do, and offer opportunities for face-to-face interaction and community building.
The book’s authors, Joe Clement and Matt Miles, are not opposed to technology in the classroom, but they stress that the devices sometimes get in the way of engaging students in learning.
The new book backs up the argument that as technology becomes more widely available, professional development for teachers on how to best integrate devices, apps and other digital tools into teaching is necessary.
With schools increasing their emphasis on social-emotional learning, the authors’ premise is also in keeping with the belief that learning happens in relationships — between students and teachers, and between students and their peers.
As administrators continue to implement one-to-one device programs and increase students’ access to new technology, it’s important to provide opportunities for teachers to plan how those tools will be used and to give them the flexibility to use strategies that best meet their students’ learning needs and reach academic goals, even if they don’t involve technology.