Student Voice: Hands-On Learning in a Technology-Focused World
The rapid acceleration of new technology in classrooms can feel overwhelming at times. Students may feel pressured to incorporate new technology tools in their learning as well as to pursue career pathways that focus on developing and applying current technology. However, to amplify creativity and ingenuity in the absence of such tools, classroom time away from technology should be just as important. Students can still learn in a relevant, experiential way by writing diary entries outdoors during English class or holding mock trials in history class using books alone to support arguments with evidence. Instead of using artificial intelligence to build models of the solar system, students could make a model out of items around the science classroom. Such activities foster innovation and build students’ capacities to assess their environment and develop purposeful work.
State boards can encourage learning with and without technology by altering learning standards to promote responsible technology use, using phrases such as “…analyzing primary sources,” using different tools,” and “…through hands-on learning.” And they can help ensure equitable access to opportunities for students to use technology.