Here’s what other ISTE members
had to say about this topic.
Participate in our reader poll
When, as adults, we need to solve
problems, create solutions, be critical,
or attempt to explain something,
we use internet-based resources as
a matter of course, and we use them
critically, strategically, and effectively
to complete the task and move forward. Why would we deny our children this capability during their education when it is so essential in the
—James Cash is an instructional technology
resource teacher with the Peel District School
Board in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He
credits Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms: Children,
Computers and Powerful Ideas as inspiration
for a lifelong interest in ed tech and cognitive
psychology. Follow him on Twitter @cashjim.
check all their new Facebook posts
and finally sit down to use the internet
as a tool.
My last major problem with allow-
ing students to use their smartphones
is that we cannot monitor or filter
what sites they are viewing because
they run through their cell providers’
internet and not the school’s. Good
luck convincing students to use the fil-
tered school internet when they have
the unfiltered internet as an option.
Cyberbullying during assessments,
here we come.
—Jeffrey Starr has taught math in the Baltimore
County Public School system since 2004. He is
the full-time technology liaison and Student
Government Association co-advisor at Dundalk
High School in Maryland, USA.
Practice Makes Perfect
I often give open-internet tests and quizzes in my
1: 1 classroom. It helps students hone their search
skills and ensures that I am asking higher-level
questions. Students will forget what they don’t use,
so they need repeated practice using the internet
to find the information they forgot.
Adjunct Faculty, University of San Diego
San Diego, California, USA
The Sum of Knowledge
Testing is a tool that measures acquired academic
knowledge. Allowing the internet, or any other
resource, during testing would bias and invalidate
the test. How can you measure the amount of
information the student truly knows if you allow
searchable material to guide the student’s answers? Moreover, testing is a culmination of one’s
knowledge, not a time for research.
Media Arts Magnet Coordinator
Galveston, Texas, USA
My English class at Sandvika High School in Oslo,
Norway, participated in May in a national trial for using the internet during examinations initiated by the
Norwegian Department of Education. This has given
me time to think about what is important and how
to prepare for this type of exam. The tasks during
the exams should be made with searching in mind.
Students should no longer be required to regurgitate
facts and figures. Instead the emphasis should be on
their ability to sift through and analyze information.
Ann S. Michaelsen
High School Administrator/Teacher
Technolgy Can’t Do It All
Information at your fingertips has changed the way
we work, and the teaching and testing we do should
reflect that. But there are some things you should
not be allowed to use the internet for, based on
real-world application. Would you want your brain
surgeon consulting WebMD during your surgery?
Business Consultant, Idaho State University
Pocatello, Idaho, USA
What Are You Measuring?
This is like asking if calculators should be used
on math tests. If you want to know a person’s
problem-solving thinking and process, then using a
calculator is fine. If you want to know how well they
can add and subtract, then no.
Career Development Professional
Washington, DC, USA
The Internet Has Its Limits
Students are getting more and more dependent on
the internet every day. We, as teachers, should limit
the use of it up to a certain point. We cannot leave
everything in the hands of technology.
Catalina Elena Oyarzún Albarracin
Director, Academia de Inglés
More Important Than Memorization
Memorization of facts shouldn’t be discouraged, but
it should not be the test of intelligence, skill, or ability. As an employer, I would rather have an individual
working for me who could identify an issue, investigate it, form a plan, and execute it successfully.
Clarena M. Renfro
Technology Integration Coach
Glen Falls, New York, USA
Brains on Empty
Empty-headed people produce empty-headed
thoughts. Just because the internet has information at your fingertips doesn’t mean your brain
should be void. There has to be a foundation of
knowledge. Many students depend on technology
instead of leveraging it to elevate their game.
Inside Account Executive, Compass Learning
Austin, Texas, USA
Time to Adapt
When I started teaching, I was partial to clay tablets.
This made life pretty difficult for me, and finally I was
told that I could either change or be fired. The school
board claimed teaching using old-fashioned technology would not benefit students. So I changed.
Dennis Harper, PhD
Founder/CEO, Generation YES
Seattle, Washington, USA