New Hope Solebury High School’s One to One Initiative has officially begun in the High School with the start of the academic year. The initiative, started by the administration, is part of a greater nation-wide movement to bring technology into schools. The initiative so far has had a relatively smooth start. Networks are working, wifi is working, however students are not.
While the devices are working as intended, their purpose to students is not quite what the administration wanted it to be. The initiative was supposed to encourage students to use technology to advance their academic knowledge. However, for most students, it has only advanced their knowledge in how to avoid the long track in Asphalt or how to make virtual friends in the My Little Pony Game.
The One to One device initiative has become become a one to one distraction to students.
The problem at hand is not within the devices themselves, they’re rather useful to complete a physics lab or quickly grab notes from the previous day’s class. The problem lies within the students and teachers, and their mutual understandings of respecting the classroom while utilizing technology for an academic purpose.
Teachers who reject the technological movement in schools do nothing for students who are going to be thrown into a working world filled with expectations of understanding technology. However, teachers who simply allow students to use their devices, without any restriction, allow for their students to easily become sucked into the internet, leaving their minds far from school. Teachers need to find the right balance within their classroom, allowing their students to use technology but strictly for academic purposes.
In no way do I mean to vilify or add responsibility to the teacher. Enough responsibility is already placed on each teacher, as they are not only tasked with teaching but controlling the classroom as well. However, the reality is that computer use must be added to this responsibility of controlling the classroom if teachers are to be successful at capturing their students attention.
However, while teachers are responsible for the use of devices in their classrooms, the greater responsibility is that of the student’s. It is the student’s own responsibility, both for their own understanding in the classroom and to prove “we can have nice things,” to utilize their devices correctly. If students continue to abuse the privileges awarded to them by the school, then students can expect those privileges to be revoked. And this doesn’t stop at computers, because if we can’t handle the freedom of having a personal device, who is to say that we can handle the multitude of other freedoms awarded to us?
Implementation of one to one devices is planned for the middle school next year. Judging from the distracted responses of high schoolers, are middle schoolers capable of having the internet at their fingertips and deciding to pay attention to lattice and the cartesian coordinate system rather than cool racing games?