Today in schools, a great deal of time in traditional classrooms is spent gathering information (taking notes) rather than processing the information and assimilating it (Newman & Newman , 2012). Teaching has shifted from an emphasis on teaching to one of learning; educators should focus more on the learning and less on the teaching (Cushner, McClelland, & Safford, 2012). Teachers and students alike have spent too much time playing the game of school. The game of school is when the idea of learning is treated as a mindless duty, something to “get through any way you can” (Freid, 2001). As times have evolved into the technology age, so should teaching.
Have you noticed that everyone seems to be glued to their smart phone, tablet, watch, or electronic device? Where would we be without Google? Many students today are digital learners. According to the Pew Research website, as of January 2014, 74% of online adults are using some type of social network site. According to the American Association of Pediatrics website, children today spend an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media (www.aap.org ). With some much time utilizing electronic media, it’s no wonder youth look to media for sex education. Educators should take cues from their learners and use the technology their learners spend so much time with. Technology in the classroom can be a useful tool .
Tips for using Technology in the Classroom
- Make sure that students have access to some type of electronic device or chosen media
- Make sure the space has internet/WI-FY access
- Know what social networks your learners/students belong to
- Ask the learners/students what topics they would like to learn about concerning sexuality
- Know the kind of tech lingo that your learners are using
- Assign work that requires learners to go on social media to complete
- Use updated media that learners can identify with
Sexuality Education using Technology
An educator can teach the condom lineup using technology. Have the learners’ video themselves explaining how to put on a condom to a peer, using the steps of the condom line up. The learners can upload the video to YouTube and watch for a week or two to see who video has the most views. This allows the educator the ability to access the learner’s ability to properly use a condom.
An educator could have learners find an image posted on one of their social networks, that is sex positive and one of slut shaming, to facilitate a discussion about values. The learners can explain why they think one is slut shaming and the other sex positivity, and how they would feel if the post was in reference to them.
If you think the previous examples are too much for you right now, try something simpler. View a video or clip of a common show or film that your learners are familiar with, and create a discussion about that with regard to sexuality. View media that is updated and that your learners can identify and are familiar with.
If you are looking to utilize an established curriculum, it may be a good idea to get a copy Bill Tavner’s Sex in the Digital Age (2014). A great exercise to begin with is the Linking Sex and technology lesson.
The use of technology and electronic devices are the norm in today’s society. Everything from cooking, driving, studying, writing, to listening to music is done electronically (Stratton, n.d.). It’s highly unlikely that one’s job will not include some type of electronic use. Instead of discouraging our youth and learners from utilizing their electronic devices, we need to include them. Let’s use electronic technology to enhance the learning process and give our students an edge. The teaching focus should be on assisting our learners to become fluent digital learners!
American Association of Pediatrics. (n.d.) Media and children. Retrieved from http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx
Cushner, K., McClelland, A., & Safford, P. (2012). Human Diversity in Education: an intercultural approach. (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education Inc.
Freid, R. L. (2001). The passionate teacher: A practical guide. Boston, MA: Beacon Press
Newman, B. & Newman, P. (2012). Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach, 11th edition. Cengage Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Pew Research Internet Project (n.d.). Social networking fact sheet. Retrieved from Pew Internet website http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/
Stratton, A. (n.d.) Electronic world: How we use electronics in daily life. Retrieved from http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/137712/electronics/electronic_world_how_we_use_electronics_in_daily_life.html