Googlification in the Classroom – The High-Tech Invasion of our Schools

March 2018

The posters on the classroom wall say, ‘Dream!’ ‘Laugh!’ It seems ironic that these posters remind us of a childhood which is long gone. Some third graders are sitting on plastic boxes.

There are also some high tables with iPads where some of the children are busy posting and twittering. These children are using ‘Seesaw’ a student-driven digital portfolio on which teachers and parents can view the pupil’s work and comment on it. Kaya Delzer, the third grade teacher, calls it her “Starbucks for kids” classroom.

Delzer’s Starbucks Café has caused a global stir. The American media company PBS Education has chosen her to be North Dakota’s best digital innovator and she has become one of TED’s best known global speakers.

In her speech at Twitter’s headquarters, Delzer spoke about digital innovation. Her pupils are daily posting on Twitter. This is how they learn about authentic citizenship and that their world is so much bigger, says Delzer. They publish for the world, this is what motivates them. Denzler says, ‘It is our task as teachers that every learner is given a voice’. At parents’ evenings she shows the parents how to follow their own children on Instagram.

Denzler’s argument seems absurd: Learning ‘authentic citizenship’ in the Social Media world which feeds on self-presentation and self-optimisation? Is this the new authenticity? The pupils twitter for the world and become used to the life in ‘Undo Mode’ at an early age. It is this mode which teaches them self-optimisation early on and which makes biographies reversible.

Denzler is paid several thousand Dollars for each of her lectures at teachers‘ conferences. 

Amazon, Apple, Google und Microsoft are offering programs for teachers to become Technology Ambassadors. Apple for example offers the ‘Apple Distinguished Educators Program’. The ambassadors use lectures, blogs and Social Media to advertise classroom technology. In return they are given presents and their travelling fees are refunded. Some companies offer reduced rates if teachers adopt them as their exclusive partners.

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