Thursday, April 19, 2012

#3 on tour - Engagement

There is no doubt that if you throw every child a device they will love it. They will be smiling, they will have something new in their hands, they will be engaged.

I've been in a few schools with 800 odd devices and the very obvious thing is that those students on the fringes of classrooms were engaged. The behavioural kids are into it, I struggled to see a student mucking about doing nothing and this was across a range of schools in different areas.

If engagement is what you are buying when u buy into a technology rich environment with children - is it enough ?

A colleague on the trip came out with this gem :

Comparing engagement to achievement is often talked about - what about comparing disengagement to non achievement ! nice one Helen

The Q is : can we afford not to deliver the technology and risk disengagement ?


Darren Sudlow said...

The question I would ask is are they engaged in the device or are they engaged in the learning? It also depends on what you define as engagement. I don't believe devices engage students in learning. They can aid it, but it is the approach to the learning that engages in the end.

Mike Anderson said...

My 8 year old daughter is 'engaged' constantly at home on her iPod touch, my iPad and the family MacBook.

I don't link this to her being learning. Not robust enough to be a reason to have devices.

Engagement/Achievement and Disengagement/Non Achievement too complex to pass off in a great one-liner.

Tend to agree with Darren above. Often when on tours I see kids engaged with devices, which is not the same thing as engaged with learning.

Loving the updates Luke, keep them coming.

Podgorani said...

good clear comments - I agree with both and I remember the great IWB research that said they are engaging -wtf.
ithe shift will always have to promote learning w engagement as a by-product

Podgorani said...

but I don't want to kill off engagement as a weapon because in some schools it can be a path to drag teachers through to something - it becomes difficult sometimes when people think they are learning when in fact they are just engaged (in something not that worthwhile).
I'm always engaged while watching Family Guy

timl27 said...

Good discussion around the engagement with the device vs the engagement with an actual shift in achievement. I also like your comment on how the 'engagement' can, in some cases, drag the teacher along. It's funny that 'traditional' learning activities (across the curriculum) don't get the same bias as using a 'device'. Sometimes students are 'engaged' (cause they have to) on a traditional tool even though you could argue that its not making a real difference to their achievement?!? If the learning with the device is targeted than the engagement with the device will further enhance the learning outcome and therefore the achievement. Looks like a lot of parents are struggling with the mind shift of what e-learning means compared with what they did. As school leaders we have to articulate and example that vision!