Sunday, August 8, 2010

Twitter Book Club: S. Craig Watkins (2009) The Young & The Digital - Chapter 8

My experience with cellphones certainly supports this statement. I have heard 5th graders tell me that they keep a cellphone hidden in their desk so their parents can send them text messages at school. I have heard this sentiment echoed at school board meetings when board members (who were also parents) urged the school to look into ways to let students use their cellphones for classwork. It was also one of the big drives behind our iTeachMobile project last year.


I know I have heard this from teachers I have worked with. I definitely don't think this is an uncommon experience. I have also heard similar sentiments echoed by veteran teachers who decide to take the plunge into online teaching.

The examples Watkins provides of effective use of technology in the classroom is shallow at best and mostly low-impact, such as showing YouTube videos in class and sharing the links with students and parents so they can review them at home. But, this book is not about technology integration in the classroom, it is an ethnographic study of young people's behaviors and how digital tools have influenced them. If you are looking for ideas for integrating technology effectively in the classroom this book provides few, but, if you are looking for a deeper understanding of young people I highly recommend this book.

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