Most of us agree that advances in technology and the web are generally good things. We have access to information at any time in almost any geographic region. We can download songs and listen to them on our iPod immediately after. We can share information and ideas with peers across the globe. The world a better place, isn’t it?
Not everyone would agree.
There have always been cases of students cheating on tests and assignments – writing answers on the bottom of sneakers and the brim of baseball hats to name a few of the “old school” favorites. Today, some students are relying on technology to cheat (texting answers, downloading information on mp3 players, buying reports online; see this CNN article) and it is causing a tension within the teaching community: should teachers embrace technology or outright reject it?
Students are generally more tech savvy than their teachers because technology IS a fabric of life for youth, while it is something that must be learned and adapted to for the not-so-young population. Students may not see the need to learn what a Dewey Decimal system is or how to navigate the local library because their information needs are a mere Google or Wikipedia search away. What is the point of memorizing formulas and definitions when you can simply access the web from your mobile phone or go home and look them up on the internet? Teachers seem to be losing control of how students cheat because the means are evolving faster than teachers can keep pace.
My goal of this Friday afternoon post is not to offer a solution but rather to see what everyone thinks about this trend. What should teachers and educators do with the dynamic evolution of technology? It has undoubtedly changed the way people search for, learn and share information, so should those who teach it modify their approach as well?