The article "The Balance of Screen Time" by Beth Holland pitches the importance of finding the balance between screen time and human interaction to ensure that kids are having meaningful interactions in the classroom. The third question on her "checklist" for ensuring that technology is purposeful resonated the most with me. She asks 1) Is it appropriate? 2) Is it meaningful? 3) Is it empowering?
Our #1 goal as teachers is to empower our students... to be independent, to take risks, to critically analyze information in front of them, and to use the tools we've taught them to do all of the above. In my classroom, the question of empowerment is my guiding purpose. I don't ever want my students on their "screens" for the sake of a 21st century tool just being used, but rather using it with the end goal of being empowered to guide their learning in a new direction.
Shawn McCusker's comment of "Today, if I were to lose the devices (iPads) that that my students have, I would mourn the loss not of the technology but of the voices that my students have gained through having them." made me think of Penny's perspective on Cover It Live letting all students' voices be heard. In 5th grade, students want to be heard and valued, and technology is an avenue for them to voice their opinions or knowledge!