Technology in Dobbs Ferry Schools
March 20, 2017
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It’s impossible to ignore technology’s growing presence in education, but it’s harder to identify and analyze its impacts. One system, for example, might be current but less effective. Another might easier but lacking a crucial concept. In the midst of all these pros and cons, we’ve compiled a list of the more common forms of technology at DFHS, asking students and teachers to give us their personal opinions.
This tool allows teachers to post assignments on a class page for easy student access and completion while encouraging inquiry and interaction. Students approve; according to Freshman Jenna Herzog, it’s an “efficient way for teachers to be in contact with their students and to get work done.” Teachers admit feeling some trepidation at first, feeling as if they’d “lost some kind of control over students” as reported by eighth grade English teacher Jill Rosenblum, but adapted, remarking of its convenience; “students can do it anywhere.”
Youtube (for educational purposes)
Though unlimited access to a constantly updated video stream might have its downsides, this tool is an important element in a number of academic classes. From lesson tutorials to crash course study guides, students find it to be a “simple, quick way to process the information” according to Freshman Daniel Schwartz. Teachers endorse its use, often incorporating uploads into presentations or review sessions.
This stems beyond school systems and into the work environment, proving to be a system necessary for young generations to gain comfort with. Students find it to be moderately dependable, but contact can be difficult sometimes; “it’s a bit slow of a method” says eighth grader Madeline Lawlor. However it is agreed that the “constant interaction” (Michael Pagano, middle school teacher) is beneficial for both parties.
A creative study method, Quizlet encourages students to make their own study sets that can be shared via email and offers a variety of activities to enforce knowledge. Some find input to be tedious, but “it’s best to use for languages or memorization” says freshman Emmy Ducic. Language administrators at Dobbs agree, all citing the difference in academic performance for Quizlet versus non-Quizlet users.
These systems exist for the purpose of encouraging class participation and reinforcement of concepts in a competitive setting. Both tend to be beloved by students as a more enjoyable academic tool and for “turning concepts into reflexes” (Abby Ward, eighth grader). Teachers find value in its ability to specifically “pick out questions that go along with diagrams,” (Frank Adamo, ninth grade biology teacher) which proves useful in test reviews.
This resource allows for easy student access to lessons and topics discussed in-class; some even include interactive activities like practice quizzes or games. It’s viewed as a practical and essential aspect of the classroom. “Definitely makes my life easier,” affirms freshman Maya Donchez, perfectly in line with the administrative perspective.
Though characteristically uncommon in education, social media platforms are effective for creative projects and immersion. Not only that but it allows for a voice in the real world and “helps give technological awareness” (Nadine Saur, freshman). Educators have a bit of hesitation in pursuing this method, as confessed by ninth grade English teacher Mary Alice Fahy, but she asserted that “students assured me this was something we were passionate about,” and has enjoyed its presence in the classroom since.