Full Question: I had a question about 1:1 laptops in school, and really technology in general. I find we are not teaching our students to know when technology is helpful to them and when it gets in their way. In looking at the current research I feel that this is a real gap in the literature as well. The studies and meta-studies which I have seen focus on preparation for technology use, is either preparation of the teachers or "how to" use the software/hardware in a technical sense for the students but they don't seem to address knowing when to use technology. Do you have suggestions about where I might look next or thoughts about if this is a good direction to take this?
Answer: “Technology is a fascinating topic – 50 years of meta-analysis and the low effect is hardly touched! We sure do not know how to use technology to enhance learning but use it to supplement and make our work more efficient – which is a pretty good outcome, but not enough. I think we have underestimated the social media aspects of technology. For example, in my AITSL work here in Oz, we have 1/3rd million educators come to our site a month, we can get 10,000 teachers on a webinar on a weekend day night, they love talking and sharing. But we never consider this a success of technology.
In our work we are using social media (like Facebook, Edmondo) to get kids to acknowledge errors, ask questions that they never ask in class – they will type on the iPhone a question to the teacher even when the teacher is standing beside them – wow what a power. We have developed an app (Visible Classroom) that can provide a transcript of a lesson immediately and code automatically – no need for a person with a clipboard at the back of the room …the new version is about to be released – and what a powerful way for teachers to see themselves through the eyes of the kids. One on one – there are more iPads in cupboards than with students in classes – we as teachers have not used them in our teaching because our models of teaching do not allow for them – see Larry Cuban’s excellent US research on why we do not use computers in classes” (John Hattie, personal communication, December 22, 2018).