I have just been reading an article that is based on the work of Dr Kathryn Moyle from the University of Canberra who has been researching how students feel about the electronic devices they use in the classroom, at home or elsewhere. She surveyed 1100 people, from primary age students through to pre-service teachers. There have been numerous studies on what technologies are being used by students but not studies in the affective domain.
The major finding is that the most important desire is for students and teachers to have good relationships. It rated above technology in importance for students.
“Students want their teacher to know who they are, to take an interest in what they’re learning and how they’re learning it.” According to Dr Moyle that is a reaffirmation about how professional educators do their job – and it’s not going to be usurped by putting computers in classrooms.
Her final observation is critical. “What is does mean is that we as professional educators need to rethink what sound pedagogies look like when they include technology.”
I think this links nicely with the Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto in while many of us may not be comfortable in this new world of technology, our students are but what they want is what they have always wanted – a caring and understanding teacher. If we are prepared to embrace technology,even in a small way at the beginning, that link may be reinforced. Why not ask your students to show you what they can do with technology? I for one certainly learnt a few PowerPoint tips from my students. I could actually see their chests swell when they knew they were teaching me something.