During the school year I saw the high school and middle school students coming into the library after school with their Chrome Books. I was interested in how these teens and tweens were using their laptops for personal use. I know the schools put blocks on certain content but the kids get around it so easily it’s a wonder there are restrictions at all.

High-tech Vs. No-tech: D.C. area schools take opposite approaches to education found on the Washington Post website

Through this article we see how two different schools deal with learning. One uses a lot of technology and has students get to the main point of their learning and share it in 140 characters as if they are creating a Tweet. The other is taking a hands-on approach with kids learning by doing. My favorite part of the article? “‘We have to stop and think if we are embracing technology just because it is there and new or if it is the best tool for what we want to accomplish,’ said Michael Rich, director of the Center on Child Media and Health at Harvard University.” So true, we move so fast to adopt what’s new but is it helpful?

Also, this may be my paranoia talking (thank you YA dystopian fiction!) but what if there’s a sonic pulse which wipes out all technology, then who will be the one thriving? I think technology in schools can be awesome but being allowed to explore with objects found in front of you can be equally awesome, why not do both?

DeKalb School District 428 OKs $8.5M one-to-one technology plan found on daily-chronicle.com

This is the in the town where I work. Over three years, students in grades 3-12 will be given a device to help give all students equal opportunity to receive the same education. I’m glad to see that the school district in passing them out to specific grades at the same time as opposed to each school at a time to ensure there is equal access across town and not focusing on either the more or less affluent students. So how do schools deal with how students are using their school issued devices?

Why schools’ efforts to block the Internet are so laughably lame found on the Hechinger Report

Perhaps schools will soon be hiring hackers to figure out the ways kids are getting through the schools’ filters on school distributed devices and develop a way to better track activity on the devices. Everything gets confused when you don’t want to worry about censorship but also want to make sure there is no cyberbullying going on and kids aren’t using social media and games during class while they should be studying. This article likens using instant messaging and social media during class to passing notes. Maybe it’s only a matter of time when the students in a classroom, being connected to the network, can have their teachers viewing which websites are being accessed at a given time via their own classroom computer. Libraries can do this when complaints of patrons using inappropriate content on a library internet computer come in, allowing staff to see which site the offending patron is on and take screen shots.

Student Computer Use Raises Privacy Questions found on ChicagoTribune.com

I was thinking about censorship and how it applies to students using school issued devices while reading this article. Isn’t it fair that students, using equipment which they do not own but are borrowing from the school district, be asked to not access certain sites while using the borrowed equipment? Anytime you lease or borrow something there are rules and stipulations about your use of the item, how would minors borrowing school devices be any different? I remember being in high school and kids getting in trouble for smoking on school grounds, the time of day made no difference. So, along those lines, would using your school issued device to access purposely filtered sites be the same thing?

How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and In Their Classrooms found on the Pew Research Center website

This Pew article found that teachers are needing to kick up their game as they have to deal with students who are using one-to-one technology in school. Many teachers may not have grown up with the same access to technology as their younger peers, and definitely not as much access as the students. By using online resources to share ideas and research different ways to use the internet to enhance learning teachers are making learning more interesting and relevant for their students.

Libraries, like schools, need to keep practicing and using technology to reach their young patrons. There’s no need for the generation gap to be a digital divide. Librarians need to be using, or at least understanding, the technology youth today are using. We can create programming and assist teachers to help keep libraries relevant. For one way libraries can involve social media to encourage teens and tweens to make creative content visit my post Teen Read Week Photo Challenge. For ways libraries can utilize Snapchat to reach teens and tweens, see my post What’s Up With Snapchat? Part 2.