Engagement Does Not Equal Learning
My board has recently “unblocked” access to youtube. This news was met positively by teachers and students alike and created a multitude of positive educational opportunities.
In my observations at schools, many people are using this tool in effective and skillful ways. There are still a small element of people who are using it to show “cool” things. When asked, they point to student engagement as justification.
Research has long since proven that the use of technology in our instruction leads to increased student engagement. The piece that some are missing, however, is that engagement and learning are two very different propositions. Engagement is merely the potential for learning to happen, not the learning itself.
Whenever we use technology and multimedia, we need to do so with a purpose. If not, the novelty will wear off and soon enough the window of opportunity created by that engagement will close.