Friday, June 29, 2012

Wanna Know How to Fix the Schools? Ask a Student!

This article encompasses more than just the profile of one student; it embodies the belief that we need to be listening more to kids.  There is a difference between listening and hearing and Michael DeMattia speaks out on behalf of fellow students.  He runs the mobile devices program for his school and sees first hand what it means to his fellow students.  Trust was one of the key components of this article and the use of restrictions and filters when it came to using the Internet.  As he puts it, kids are no different than adults in that they don’t want or need someone looking over their shoulder.  He uses a great analogy when it comes to technology and teachers reluctance to embrace it; “you need to fill the pool up and patch it as you go.”  Unless you give it a try, how will you know what you can or cannot do?

I’ve seen many teachers over the span of my education that talked at kids instead of to them.  While looking at my own teaching style I will try to find a way to do the later.  The Internet and the technology that is seen today was not around when I first went thru school and as things change you have to be willing to change with it or fall behind.  That especially rings true when it comes to utilizing new technology within education.  Seeing how technology can help you reach the children of tomorrow can only be achieved by actually trying it out.  If it doesn’t work try something else or do it a differently.  I read a great article recently that ended with, “Learn to fail or fail to learn” and I think it speaks volumes when applied to using technology in teaching.  I will be implementing both these types of practices when teaching and actually talking with the students about what is working or not working can be a great resource.

This article models part of the NETS-T number 1 by promoting open communication collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students.  We are together in this process and if we allow our students to see that and believe it, maybe then it can become truly a collaborative effort in the thinking, planning and creative process of education.

Fingal, Diana (August  2011).  Copyright:  Wanna Know How to Fix the Schools? Ask a Student!  Learning and Leading with Technology, 39 46.

Retrieved from


  1. Tony,
    Your point about talking to students instead of at them is an amazing point. Many times the information will be the same but a student will not listen to a teacher who is rude, and does not respect the students. Sometimes all it takes is a little mutual respect, and a student will give the teacher their full attention, and spirit in the lesson. I agree, we should be listening to students more.

  2. I second your ideas about talking to students. I forgot where I got the following, but it's very interesting:

    "It is through listening that one teaches and through speaking that one learns."