News Response #9

Maryland has passed legislation that would require school officials to create health and safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in school. This is interesting to me mainly because I am from Maryland, and went to a public high school there, and looking back on it, there was quite a bit of integration of digital devices into my high school experience. Every classroom had a Promethean board, there were carts of Chromebooks for teachers to check out in order to do research or writing assignments, and we did Kahoots to review for tests in almost every class. Although laptops and phones were generally not allowed in class, as is standard, there were programs through to school that would help you buy Microsoft Surfaces, so that you could take notes digitally instead of manually. All of this made for an incredibly technology-heavy school experience, and one that I could understand legislators and public health officials being wary of; they made it much easier to be distracted in class, and long-term usage of technology without appropriate breaks has generally been associated with eye strain and trouble sleeping.

On the other hand, however, technology and media definitely made some parts of the learning experience smoother. Digital class notes made sharing notes and studying together easier, as nobody had to decipher handwriting or trade notes in person, and Google Docs and Slides made group presentations infinitely easier to coordinate. When we had school off for literal weeks due to snow, instead of teachers having to scramble to make up for lost time, we were sent YouTube videos and online lessons, so that we could keep learning from home.