Internet Insanity

by Justin Friday

Since the BYOD (bring your own device) policy began at Oakdale, more and more teachers have begun integrating online teaching tools into their classes; however, has the online classroom crossed the line?

Many teachers in the school use more than one online teaching tool, like Edmodo, Noredink, or Google Classroom; but when they are all used in the same class, they become a bit overwhelming. For instance, one teacher may use a combination of Google Classroom, Noredink, and Edmodo to give students assignments. If the teacher doesn’t consistently post on all three, and remind the students to check them, then students may completely overlook some assignments on certain class forums.

Having too wide a variety of online class forums can create a lot of stress for both students and teachers. It becomes progressively more difficult to remember several different passwords, remembering to check each one regularly, and, on occasion, have to manage bugs and errors on each site.

However, this problem exists on a greater scale than this example. Many classes inconsistently use five or even six different sites at a time. In these cases, students may forget to turn in assignments, and teachers may forget to grade them. No matter what, the students are responsible to be on top of their work, but it shouldn’t be a struggle to even figure out if you have an assignment to do.

The excess of online learning tools exemplifies the term “too many cooks spoil a broth”, and FCPS would be far better off selecting one or maybe three platforms to use, rather than this hodgepodge of platforms that only serve to make education complex for the sake of complexity.

However, there are differing opinions on the subject. One such opinion is from English Teacher Nicole Moravy who uses these sites regularly: “This new tech has helped me distribute assignments and has made my life a little easier” she said. “[However] Technology may be able to enrich good teaching, but technology can’t be the only teaching” she stated further.

It is up to the student and the teachers to communicate what works and what doesn’t work for these websites to function. Teachers have to listen to the students’ concerns, and the students have to be open minded to what the teacher believes is best. If done properly all classes can effectively exist in our new digital age.