During my 7th period today, I asked my students to help me with my homework. Most were more than willing, a few chose to continue to work on their assignment. My 7th period is a class of on grade level Deaf and Hard of Hearing students who utilize much technology and digital media in the classroom. When asked to assess what they find valuable, especially when related to digital media they really struggled. Most of the time, they were focused on how “technology” was related to their online classes. It was clear that they found their online classes to be stifling and connected that experience to classroom technology. After redirecting the conversation, students began to assess how technology is used in the classroom.
Students discussed how technology benefits them:
*provides visual access which is valued in the Deaf community
*limits the need for 3rd party interference (video phones, Glide, Facetime)
*allows for direct access to materials, presentations can be shared
*cloud based tools eliminate the need for USBs and compatibility
*addition of video and sign language access
Students feel that digital media allows them unprecedented access to information and projects that their hearing peers take for granted, providing them access to more that normally was blocked by language.
Students discussed the negatives of technology:
*too much technology is being “taken over” by adults. Students feel that adults are using digital and social media to police their children.
*too much is blocked and not available at school.
*teachers are not up to date on technology and they are not able to use wanted technology to share ideas.
*overuse of the same apps and tools
*unwillingness of administration to allow changes in the use of technology in the classroom
Students appreciate the importance of technology, but they wish that schools and teachers would be better prepared.