20 Aug, 2017
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The collateral damage of an educational model centred on screens

Two science teachers from the American city of Woodland Park in Colorado State, decided in 2007 to change the way they taught. These teachers chose to video record their lessons so their students could watch them from home. Is this an effective model? An article by Karen Springen published in School Library Jounral (SLJ) analyses the positives and negatives. 

In general terms, this model could be summarised as follows: schools would become areas where you talk, do group projects and receive individual help from teachers, whilst at home you watch the videos. Like this, comments Wade Roberts, executive director of Educreations, we can obtain a much more personalised education.
Librarians, comments Springen, play a central role in this model, as they are the ones who offer videos to the students and recommend internet resources. The aim is to use technology to save time in the classrooms and spend it as productively as possible. In addition it facilitates revision.
Nevertheless this model faces several challenges. How do you know the children have watched the videos? What if a child doesn’t have a computer or an internet connection at home? Some teachers have also criticised the model for being too passive, claiming children learn best when they are involved and not staring at a screen. In addition the American Academy of Paediatricians advises children not to spend more than two hours in front of screens per day. The extended arguments and responses can be found on Canal Lector.


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