It’s Not All Bad

While sitting in the hair salon one night last week I overheard a conversation that sparked this blog post. I have been toying with the idea of writing this post for a while and I feel like it fits well into the conversation around television in education from my Foundations of Educational technology class this week.

The conversation went a little something like this…

Lady 1: “Kids today don’t know how to have a conversation, they are constantly staring at their phones and playing all those games.”

Lady 2: “I know and they don’t know how to spell anymore either.”

Lady 1: “I find it so rude when I walk past someone and they are on their phone.”

I find conversations like that to be so frustrating!

Why do we feel the need to pit the old against the new? Why can’t we merge them?

Why can’t we embrace the idea that change isn’t always bad but rather it provides opportunities? Consider this, at one point in time, the ideology in the video below was the norm but someone was willing to challenge that.

As teachers we want our students to love learning and we want to model what learning looks like. Traditional education does not allow for individuality and if there is something that can challenge the traditional view then I say, challenge away!

In class this week we were challenged to unpack the following quote, considering it’s implications on traditional education:

“…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.” – Postman

When our students feel excited and engaged with something they are going to learn! What we need to do is teach our students that it’s not about loving the app or TV show but rather about the process of learning and asking questions. The opportunities for teachers to engage their students in classrooms today are endless. I say bring on things like BYOD but stop trying to control it. Rather, teach students how to be responsible. I can’t count how many times I have heard or read educators saying things like:

“Kids today don’t know how to be responsible with their phones.”

“We need to police how and when they are using their phones.”

I like to challenge these ideas with something along the lines of: “What have we as educators done to show and teach them how to be responsible?”

If we don’t model positive interactions with technology in education we are doing a huge disservice to the students who are growing up in today’s society. We certainly can’t ignore that there are challenges and downfalls to some of what is available for kids today but it is our job as the adults in their lives to have conversations with them and foster the process of learning. After all, learning is what it is all about!



  1. Great post. I like how you are suggesting we need to challenge the traditional education. That was my first thought this week as well. We need to progress with the world as it progresses and advances around us. I also like how you have suggested that we need to teach them how to be responsible. This makes me think of how important the behaviourist theory is to our students learning and development.

  2. I absolutely love your positive attitude about teaching and technology Nicole! I will admit, I find myself always wanting to be positive, but it is hard to always see the silver lining when I see problems arising in the classroom when I use technology. That is why I love reading your posts; they remind me of what we can do to change the narrative in our society, instead of simply complaining about it! Thanks for the shot of optimism Nicole!

    • Your comment made my day! I sometimes worry that maybe I come across the opposite. So happy you’re enjoying them. I think one of the ways I am able to stay positive, most of the time, is because edtech is a passion of mine. There’s something about passion! Thanks for reading!

  3. What have we as educators done to show and teach them how to be responsible?”

    Love it. And, this is incredibly relevant given what is going on in the US with Trump, et. al.

    The rest of your post (e.g., why can’t we reconcile) reminded me of the David Crystal’s vid about texting – here’s a classical linguist who gets the worth of new technologies. (you may have seen this in another Couros class).

    Thanks for the post!

  4. Great post Nicole. I think it’s vital that we consider what we are doing as educators to teach students how to be responsible. This is why I think it’s so important to have a digital presence with our students and model this responsibility. When we show them what it means to be a digital citizen from an early age and ingrain these conversations into our everyday practice, then we have students who are conscious of their interactions with tech. I appreciate your optimism!

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