Curriculum

A Video Plea for Better Ed Tech

December 11, 2009 1 min read

The YouTube video below has been making the rounds for a couple of years, but I was reminded of it again when it was forwarded by a colleague this morning. It shows a series of students holding small white boards (NOT the interactive kind, but the ones that require dry erase markers) with their pleas for using technology in school.

The students, seemingly ranging from elementary to high school age, look solemn as they appeal for some class time spent on 21st-century skills. They want to consume, remix, and share information with each other, and use digital tools for learning, such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, and digital storytelling.

The numbers offered have likely changed significantly in the last two years, since I assume that more and more teachers are using some technology in the classroom. But the video claims that 63 percent of teachers at the time never let students use technology to create content in class. No source for the data is given, and I haven’t found out much about the film producer, B.J. Nesbitt.

“Teach me to think, to create, to analyze, to evaluate, to apply,” the students’ message boards read. “Let me use the www...whatever, whenever, wherever. Let me tell a story, digitally.”

The video makes a compelling case for technology in the classroom and is intended to inspire teachers to adapt more modern tools for teaching. Given that it’s had nearly half a million views since it was uploaded in 2007, it might have some success in doing just that. Of course, it is promoting a 21-century-skills agenda, which has come under a bit of scrutiny lately, as is outlined in this Education Week story by Stephen Sawchuk, and in this piece by Mike Rose.

Do you think the film makes its case?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

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