Walk into a classroom in the Peninsula School District and you may find kindergarten students working on letter association with an iPad in hand, third-graders publishing their narrative writing piece in Google Docs, sixth-graders collaborating on a Google Slides presentation on ecosystems for science, or an eleventh-grader completing their U.S. History exam in Schoology, according to Assistant Director of Technical Services Natalie Boyle. Teachers are integrating the latest technology into the established curriculum in new and innovative ways. The district recognizes that technology can transform learning when implemented thoughtfully, according to Boyle, and also that screen time at school looks different from screen time at home. “The digital-use divide refers to the growing gap in the way in which the students use their devices for academic purposes. Rather than using them passively—for online worksheets or simply consuming media—our teachers have
been tasked with providing students with active uses for technology integration. Students are using technology to create, design, build, explore, and collaborate on learning opportunities that integrate into the established curriculum. This active use of technology deeply engages the child’s mind with the content, and therefore creates a meaningful learning experience.” The way in which students use technology at home will likely vary from how it is used at school. Technology use at home is typically more passive and takes parent involvement in order to decide the best use of the device based on the age of the child. The American Academy of Pediatrics has created a variety of resources for families to utilize when integrating digital media into a child’s daily life, from 18 months to 18 years old. Families can create a “Family Media Use Plan” to help guide how much time should be spent on screen time once their time in school, physical activity, after-school activities, and family time are factored in. Do you have a school-aged child? Asking your child’s teacher how they use technology in the classroom can help you to develop your Family Media Use Plan. For more information and a guide to setting up a personalized plan for your kids, visit their web page, healthychildren.org/ MediaUsePlan.
Teachers have been tasked with providing students with active uses for technology integration. Students are using technology to create, design, build, explore, and collaborate on learning opportunities that integrate into the established curriculum. This active use of technology deeply engages the child’s mind with the content and therefore creates a meaningful learning experience.