Ask the Exerts by Tommy Adams
Q: My child has been telling me a lot about the devices they have been using in their classroom lately. I don’t understand what they are doing with the technology and how is it helping them learn? We hear so much about limiting screen time, so what is best?
A: All over the country, schools of all sizes and varieties embrace the use of technological devices in classrooms. One-to-one tablet programs, apps and virtual learning are now curricular hallmarks from pre-kindergarten through high school. Is this healthy for our children?
Those of us in education and administration are constantly concerned with finding the right balance while using technology to enhance learning. In an online survey of 2,462 advanced placement and writing teachers, the Pew Research Center found that 77% of teachers polled say that the internet Is a useful search tool that positively impacts student research, while 87% say that overuse of technology is creating an easily distracted generation with a short-term attention span.
This causes a dilemma for educators. How do we work in these useful tools while also restricting device use at other times?
There certainly are ways to achieve a balance and if teachers are properly trained these tools are invaluable. If children are taught to use their devices in appropriate ways and parents continue to limit recreational use at home and monitor their child’s device and social media accounts, we can help them be successful. It will take diligence on all parties.
Tommy Adams is the head of school at The Grosse Pointe Academy. Prior to this appointment, he has had 22 years of experience working in independent schools. Tommy was Assistant Head of School for Enrollment for 8 years at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania and Director of Admission for 8 years at The Gunnery in Washington, CT. Tommy is the founder and director of The Erdmann Institute for Enrollment Leadership. A graduate of Avon Old Farms (CT), Tommy received his bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College (VA) as well as a master’s of science in Education with a focus on Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. For more information, visit gpacademy.org. The Grosse Pointe Academy is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals.