Our junior high program strives to maximize the potential of technology as a teaching and learning tool. Teachers use technology to be more effective at presenting information and students use technology to dive deeper into content material, access dynamic informational sources and keep themselves organized.
We see technology as an educational tool, just like a text book is an education tool and a pencil is an educational tool.
With all its advantages, technology also comes with some disadvantages. For every problem technology solves it often seems to create a new problem. With our students, one of the main challenges of using technology is the ease at which students can be distracted by pop-ups, chats, music apps and access to games.
Over the past few weeks we’ve noticed an up-tick in the level of distraction and conflict connected to the use of chats and hangouts. While they are great for quick communication and collaboration of classmates, they have turned into a distraction and a channel for non-productive and sometimes hurtful communication.
For the next week or so, we will disable the students’ ability to access chats and hangouts while at school. As a faculty, we will use that time to figure out the best way to move forward and whether or not we will allow students access to chats in the future. Ideally, rather than simply block students from technology, we want them to learn to use it responsibly for its most positive purpose. But, at least for the short term, we are revoking that privilege.
We encourage you to continue the conversation at home about the pros and cons of technology and your expectations of how your child uses his/her technology and school time. Please refer to the Parent Handbook’s sections on Acceptable Use and Technology, specifically on pages 30-38 and pages 85-91.