Students’ ed-tech opinions might surprise you

Students are more thoughtful about technology use than many adults give them credit for

students-ed-techStudents see equity of access as a key ed-tech challenge for their schools, and they’d like to have newer technology in their classrooms. But they’re also more thoughtful about their tech use than many adults give them credit for, expressing concerns about distractions and a lack of face-to-face interaction when using devices in class.

Those were some of the key takeaways from a panel discussion held June 30 during the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia.

Hosted by ed-tech public relations firm PR with Panache, “Youth Voices” featured two middle and two high school students discussing their opinions on topics ranging from how they use technology in school and at home, to what they think the future of education will look like.

Outside of school, they’re using social media services like Snapchat and Instagram to communicate with their friends on their smart phones. In school, however, their tech use varies widely, depending on their circumstances.

Christopher Cail, an 11th grade honors student at Pine View School in Sarasota County, Fla., said it’s mostly teachers who are using technology at his school. While students are allowed to bring their own devices to class—Christopher brings his MacBook Pro and connects it to the school’s network—many teachers have not changed their instruction to take full advantage of this opportunity, he said.

Next page: Students reflect on funding and privacy

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