Our assignment this week was to discuss Neil Postman statement, “…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Ah, Sesame Street, a place where learning occurred and the learner didn’t even know it was happening.
I truly sat and thought about this for a period of time. Technology gives the ability to go beyond the traditional sense of learning. Our students are often learning without even knowing they are doing it as were the youngsters who watched Sesame Street. Hours spent in front of the t.v. was thought okay by parents as children were learning “good” lessons that included a lot of heart. Having said that, the produces of Sesame Street were able to present a lesson and have that lesson bridge any concepts of ethnicity, religion or gender. Now, students spend hours in front of a device, but the lessons being learnt are not always as courteous or respectful. Parents and teachers have a much harder time controlling what their child/student is being exposed to. Lessons of bigotry and racism are as easily to access as a math lesson or learning comprehension exercise.
There is another type of teaching that, in my opinion, has to go hand-in-hand with the use of technology. Having students learn their own value system and what they feel is true to their being. Students have to be taught and learn how to filter all of the information that is available with technology and find what is important and relevant. The producers of Sesame Street did a great job for generations of children, but as we move further into the 21st century the students will have to take ownership of this element.
In our suggested readings and as Kyle mentions the SAMR model into his blog, I am reminded as to my purpose in using technology. In Classroom AV: what should you consider? we are being reminded that “…we do not use technology simply for technology’s sake; there are some times where it isn’t appropriate. We always begin with considering our teaching and learning programme, identifying the knowledge, skills, and understanding the children’s needs.”
With my training as a Connected Educator, I think I am walking a line between M and R in the daily use of technology with my class. The goal is to keep learning.