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LOGAN — On his first appearance of the new year, Logan City School District Superintendent Frank Schofield, on KVNU’s For the People program this past week, said it’s a challenge to help students navigate a digital technology terrain that is constantly influx .
”“There’s always something new coming out, now whether it’s a new piece of social media, transitioning from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to TikTok to Periscope or whatever, and whatever comes next. What are the principles, what are the concepts that we help kids learn that allow them to navigate that changing environment in a healthy, successful way? Because we know when you don’t manage it in a healthy way, there are a lot of very negative impacts,” Shofield explained.
He said that’s why we see things like Governor Cox’s push to get more control on social media, and his invitation to schools to be cell phone-free zones and things like that.
Schofield was asked if he supports that as a superintendent.
“What we’ve seen as we’ve visited with teachers and principals so far, is we already have a lot of classrooms where teachers put that practice in place and as they explain it to students, students respond positively.
You have students who say ‘I get it’, if my phone is constantly vibrating with alerts in my pocket, that distracts me. And I’m not able to focus on whatever it is I’m doing, whether that’s interaction with the person who’s in front of me, or whether it’s learning how to do this math problem or whatever”
But technology is ever-changing and here to stay. Also on the program was Instructional Technology coach for the district, Jeff Alley. He said that teachers need to be flexible.
“You look at these great examples across the nation, I saw one the other day where this teacher is now doing daily TikTok’s. She doesn’t like TikTok, she never used (it), but that’s what her kids like. So, for her to engage with her students, she decided to start doing these funny TikToks and she acts like a middle school kid and she does them and they just think they’re funny, without realizing that they are actually learning something as well,”  Alley said.
Schofield said it’s possible to integrate old school instruction with modern platforms.
“Oh yeah, there are actually tons of ways you can do it, and to what level a teacher’s able to do that depends on their personal comfort level with the technology which is why Jeff’s position is so valuable because his role is to go and to help teachers use technology effectively.
He doesn’t go in and fix broken computers, he works with teachers and says ‘Here are some tools, what is it you’re trying to accomplish with your students, let’s see how you can use these tools to match your teaching style, match the content that you’re teaching, and meet the needs of the students.”
Schofield said a cutting edge way to do that is using A.I. or ChatGPT to help create multiple grammar problems, for example,  and then the student goes in and identifies where it made made mistakes.
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