Educational apps ! Beware the app which promotes compliance!

Educators and teachers are being bombarded by digital marketing companies promoting their particular “app” promising to make their role in the classroom easier! – but at what cost to our students? Are our educators critically questioning the app that they are being “sold”! Many apps are extraordinary with real life learning opportunities being enhanced for the students but others are merely management tools which limit the relationship opportunities which are vital for a positive stimulating learning environment. Some apps for example ClassDojo are gaining prominence in some classrooms! Question this carefully!
An app which displays publicly on an interactive whiteboard applauding “good” behaviour while also publicly displaying not so positive behaviour is akin to public shaming! Where is the respect between student and teacher, where is the conversation taking place which encourages respectful interactions and mutual understanding being developed. Obedience and compliance may be thought desirable in some settings in order for students to stay “on task” but educators who have developed a range of learning relationship interactions which are based on questioning, reflection and mutual respect are the educators who will have the lasting and positively influencing impact on our students! Of course we would prefer our students to do the “right” thing in class but we don’t want this to occur in a culture of fear!
Compliant and submissive responses have no place in our classrooms! Educational Apps do have a place in the classroom but ask the critical questions before adopting them! They should NOT be designed for the ease of the teachers at the expense of the positive learning experience of the students!

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