I had some sort of an epiphany while out on professional experiences that left me a little bit concerned about the future of our students learning. I had a really enjoyable professional experience. Good school, great class and a fantastic mentor, what more could you ask for?
Throughout my teaching experiences I began to notice something disturbing about my class. And here is how it all came about. It was assessment time for the students and before they were provided their mathematics test I decided to go through a few practice question with the students, very similar to the ones they would engage with during the test. All went well, students were responding to the questions correctly and were showing their working out. I was so confident in their abilities and that they were all going to do so well! 20 minutes passed and I provided the students with their tests. They all finished and so that night I took home the tests and marked them. And to my disappointment, many of the students were getting the questions wrong, even though we had practised similar ones before they took the test. I was so deflated. I felt like I had let them down. Like I had failed them. So the next day I discussed my concerns with my mentor and she said that it was not my fault, but rather that these students are so used to having instant access to answers, and so when it comes to testing conditions and they have no instant access they lose concentration. They stop thinking.
And that’s when it dawned on me. Is technology use actually making students not think about what they have to do? Is technology negatively impacting students’ abilities to remember and recall? Because let’s face it, why would you need to remember information when you can just type a few words in a search engine, click a few buttons and find the answer you are looking for all within a few seconds? Why remember things when someone or something else will do it for you?
So I ask you, does ICT create lazy learners?