Lessons from LEAP–Part 2

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

One of the most compelling activities that took place during last week’s LEAP tour at West Ridge Middle School was the half-hour spent with the student panel. They were funny and engaging, shared favorite apps, and answered questions from the curious group of tourist-educators as we rudely munched our lunch. The highlight, however, came with the final question which was posed by Greg Garner, the Educational Technologist of WRMS. Though I can’t quote it verbatim, the basic question was:

If the iPad program were suddenly ended tomorrow, how would you feel or how would this affect you?

I expected the usual, general student answer:  it would make me sad because I really like technology. However, that was not the response from these students. Their answers reflected true connections to the changes that were brought about by the seamless melding of technology into their learning environment.

One student expressed how he would miss typing since his handwriting was not only horrible for teachers to read, but a painstakingly slow process for him. An 8th grade girl used the word “stressed”. She is so busy that she couldn’t possibly add one more thing to her life, and the iPad has pulled her entire workload into one place, making managing school….well….manageable. Another student said that he would revert to being disorganized. He stated that the iPad kept everything in one place, and, after all, “backpacks don’t have search engines!” I was extremely impressed that technology had dramatically changed the way they learned, the way they functioned,  and the way they felt about school.

What a great question to ask?
If technology were removed from my school tomorrow, how would I feel and how would it affect me?
Perhaps it is the answer to this question that offers a true measurement of how successful we have been in implementing the use of technology into our classrooms.
What would your answer be?

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