Digital Work Time vs Digital Play Time

iPads are the enemy.

That’s what some parents believe. Bringing a 1-to-1 iPad program into the elementary school is out of the question. Looking at their family structure where some adult members are glued to their iPads or smart phones, playing games have led them to think that they’ve had enough. iPads or smart phones are for playing. It’s a glorified video game machine.

Some rights reserved by Raúl Hernández González
Some rights reserved by Raúl Hernández González

Tablets and smart phones are so much more.

Yes, there is a wide array of games that can be played on them. But, there’s also many useful apps that transform these technologies into amazing tools for learning and creating. What the parents didn’t see at home is what Digital Work Time can look like.What if Digital Work Time could also mean that the technology is a tool that the students can use to do something?

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 10.41.38 PM
Top Right: Students choosing to use the iPad as an additional workspace during writing.
Bottom Left: A student recording himself reading aloud to check for fluency.

What if it’s a space to collaborate with someone?

Students figuring out how to solve a puzzle during the Hour of Code.

Sure, it’s easier to get distracted while using technologies that have numerous functions, but allowing the students to see and experience the possibilities of what these tools are capable of is extremely important. They need to know that the tool can be used for play as well as work. This idea needs to be communicated to the parents.

The technology is not the enemy, mindless use of it is.

BalanceSome rights reserved by winnifredxoxo
Some rights reserved by winnifredxoxo

Students should interact with each other face to face, but they also must learn to interact digitally. They need to be able to create things on the computer, but they should also be able to create something with their hands using physical tools. They need to play with objects, structures and with other people, but they should also be able to play on a device. Balancing screen time and off screen time as well as mindfully using the time spent in front of a screen are necessities to develop wholesome digital citizens, no, 21st century people.



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