The area that I believe we must focus on is how to counteract the use of phones for bullying and cheating. As I don't believe there is a way to keep cell phones out of schools forever, the question becomes what do we do with the burgeoning problems that come with them. With that said, the area of digital responsibilities comes to the forefront of the problems we will run into as educators.
Plagiarism and not the word old school meaning. Plagiarism in the realm of… if it is not in your own words, if you have cut and pasted the text or pictures and not quoted and cited you are plagiarism. I would go even a step further to saying the parents need an education here. We have experienced parent meetings and phone call with parents who see nothing wrong with their children cutting and pasting to meet assignment criteria. Hummmm. Novel idea help you child with their homework and inadvertently groom them for plagiarism.
In my primary grades setting, I think the focus should be on basic knowledge of new technologies and parent education. My younger students will, most likely, be working with adult supervision either at home or at school, so learning how to use the technologies available to enhance their education would be my area to focus on.
I agree that our students need some refinement in what they think is appropriate ways to use technology, especially as it refers to bullying. I think there are layers of cyber-bullying running rampant through texting, myspace, facebook etc that teachers are not catching. However, rather than desiring to eliminate these valuable tools, I think it would be so powerful if we could find a way to truly reform how students use them. I wish texting could be used as a teaching tool, rather I think we see cell phones and everything related to them at school as dangerous. The tool is only as dangerous as the person using it, therefore, the number one priority needs to be dealing with the issue of bullying and other mis-uses of technology.
I have to agree with Jennifer about the need for basic knowledge and instruction. However, I think that while we are educating the children we must also educate the parents. I am amazed at some of the things first graders do on the Internet. I was at a house the other night where a second grader was looking things up on YouTube. While the things he was looking up were benign, not everything out there is. I think parents are so used to the technology they forget to teach about it. They assume the kids are fine and will figure it out. They may not be stopping to think about all the things the children could be figuring out. We must educate the students. However, we must also educate the parents.
I will agree with both Jennifer and Rita. My second graders understand the more modern technology then their parents and sometimes myself. Parents need to spend time with their children when on the computer to see what they are looking up. Parents needs to teach their child how to use the programs schools will require in the future grades and typing. It is not to early to teach students typing skills earlier rather than later. Parents need to be familiar with the programs that "are in." When my school has "back to school" night (after school starts), I talk to the parents about technology in the class and how I use it, and ways they can use it at home. Overall, I feel that parents, teachers, and students should work on basic knowledge of common computer programs, internet, etc.