Trying to Decide What is Most Useful

I read a comic of Dilbert tonight something odd for me as I don’t typically read comics anymore and rarely, if ever, Dilbert.  Tonight’s selection was thought provoking for me, it questioned the idea of students technology use and if we are really teaching our students what they need to know to be successful in the future.  Another great article that I was reading was about social and emotional growth in students. This needs to come first. How can I expect my students to be responsible for their technological footprint if they can’t even conceptualize what being responsible means?

It got me thinking about how I am teaching my students.  I need to be cognizant of the fact that just giving my students tools is not nearly enough. Showing them fun apps, ways to organize, present, submit and be creative, it does nothing for them if they can’t apply them usefully.  I thought of “slow and steady wins the race”.  I do not presume to know every program available nor even which will suit each student’s needs. What I do know that is if I don’t teach responsbility and ethics, it doesn’t matter how many tricks and gifts I put in their basket, it will be fruitless at best, damaging at worst.  With cyber bullying rampant and communication instantaneous, students need to be taught temperance and consequences in real time. Snap decisions, hurtful words and images can’t always be erased by hitting delete.  I feel like it can seem technology is a weapon and we are arming our students with tools but not the maturity and ethical standards required to be used properly.

My main dilemna was deciding (from Dilbert) What is it that our student’s need TODAY what will most benefit their growth and success for TOMORROW? And secondly, how do I teach these things incorporating social responsibility and respect?  Our students need a future where they can be successful, encouraged, necessary and valued. It seems to me that socially and emotionally secure students will find the way to be leaders of the future.

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