When I saw this photo, I loved it. I immediately placed it in my classroom because it represents the balance; the other side of the scale. I understand that technology is here to stay and will only become increasingly more present in the classroom and in learning in general. At our school, we have I-pad integration in the classroom, we share files electronically through google docs, we research on the internet, we blog and then there is all the social media stuff too. I think it is very important to balance this world with the world of old school; the times when I went to school or when my parents went to school. The old school is the paper and pencil way of thinking. It is about putting our ideas and thinking on paper. Taking the time to physically write out our thoughts, organize them and make sense of them.The picture of the crayons is meant to remind students that before they engage in technology usage, they need to think about what they are using it for , what they want to say and how will they say it. They need to first, grab a pencil and brainstorm on paper; sketch out their ideas and how they will present their ideas using the technology. Too often, I see students simply go to their I-pad, find an app and begin making their presentation. 9 out of 10 times the final product is not good at all. There is an incredible race to simply get to the I-pad rather than sit and use paper and pencil to map out thinking first. The technology is not the learning, it is the presentation of learning. Students need to storyboard their ideas, write out their thoughts or sketch an idea. Technology is a wonderful tool but must be balanced with old school thinking.
I seem the same issue with reading non-fiction texts. Students who use their technology to read articles seem to comprehend less than students who print out the article, grab a pencil and physically interact with the article. They write in the margins, they write definitions, draw pictures and summarize text on the page and in their own words. The physical interaction of writing is building a stronger connection with the material. Rather than be distracted by moving pictures, flying texts, hyperlinks and swiping up and down, students simply have a paper and pencil and their brain.
I believe the tide is shifting too quickly towards an ‘all is good attitude’ towards technology and that we need to stem the tidal flow to a more balanced approach where we incorporate a healthy portion of physical interaction with learning (paper and pencil) with the usage of technology.