I Hate Computer Time

When I hear the words COMPUTER TIME I wonder if that person also says “pencil time”, “textbook time”, “cooperative learning time”. Computer time makes me think of a reward system that has been put into place for students that have complied with a set of rules. “If you do ______________ you’ll have extra computer time.” “No computer time if ____________.” “You finished early!  You can have extra computer time.”

When digital tools are used as carrots or incentives for learning it bothers me as much as withholding physical education from a class that won’t behave.

More and more, our students rely on devices to learn.  According to Edudemic (please follow if you aren’t following already) Generation Z’s online presence can be described like so: 

“• 60% of this generation like to share knowledge online, a sign of collaborative skills
• 64% contribute to websites because they like learning about new things
• 76% feel that online experiences help them reach goals
• 66% say that technology makes them feel like anything is possible”

(Taken from 7 Survival Skills For Modern Teachers And Students

I’m not advocating for a complete movement towards online learning.  The Generation Z that Edudemic’s post describes definitely needs opportunities to unplug and learn to work in concrete, flesh and blood spaces.

I’m just proposing that we stop using “computer time” as a way to make students behave in a way that we want them to.  Please don’t let these tools be an expensive set of stickers.

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