Using technology with elementary school homework

Last week, I talked about technology in the schools including bringing your own device (BYOD) to class. But the use of technology for kids goes beyond the school room. Kids are expected to use computers and tablet for homework too.

Computer/ipads for homework

Often our homework assignments list websites to visit. Even last year Lexie’s kinder homework sometimes had them going to a site to play a game or watch a video.

The kids have a desktop computer to share in our computer room. This is an older computer that use to be mine at one point until I needed a faster, better one to keep up with my writing, video making and financial software. They also have iPod touches for playing games and music but not really for doing homework.

Now in the area we live in, I would expect most of the students to have access to a computer in their homes. If they don’t, the teachers have told the students they can come in before school to use the classroom computers. I guess there is also the public library as an option.

However, I am not sure they should expect everyone to have a smart phone or tablet….

QR codes in homework

QR codes are everywhere – including in my son’s homework. Quick Response (QR) codes are pixilated bar codes that when scanned by a reader on a smart phone or tablet provide information or link to a website.

Typically, in Jase’s homework, the code links them to a quick video with a short assignment following it.

qrcode.25636385

Sample QR Code – If you scan it, you will “Like” my Facebook Page.

Now there are plenty of free readers for these codes, but I was surprised when I first saw it on the homework. This means the teachers assumed that everyone had a smart phone or a tablet to do the homework. And not everyone does…

On the next week’s homework, there was a note to contact the teachers if you had questions or problems with using the QR codes. But I guess not enough complaints were logged as his homework this week has one video QR code attached.

There is no way to avoid technology, whether it is in the classroom or in their homework. Heck for that matter, there really is no way to avoid technology in our everyday lives either. I think using the tablets and computers can enhance what they are learning as long as they don’t become too dependent on that technology. It is like being able to do math without a calculator….Everyone should know how to do basic adding and subtracting – without resorting to a calculator on their smart phone.

 

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