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You can’t motivate students with technology because technology alone isn’t motivating....

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This is, I felt, an insightful post, by Bill Ferriter (August 17th, 2012). In the post Bill, makes the point that was music to my ears:

Basically what I’m arguing is that finding ways to motivate students in our classrooms shouldn’t start with conversations about technology. Instead, it should start with conversations about our kids. What are they deeply moved by? What are they most interested in? What would surprise them? Challenge them? Leave them wondering? Once you have the answers to these questions — only after you have the answers to these questions — are you ready to make choices about the kinds of digital tools that are worth embracing.

I'd highly recommend reading the rest of Bill's post - Are kids really motivated by technology? - and it would be great to hear what your thoughts are on the subject.

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Comment by Nathaniel Louwrens on November 27, 2015 at 10:23

I definitely agree with this post and my own research into online student engagement showed this as well.

Bill makes a good point about novelty of technology. While novelty may help motivate students in the short term, it does quickly wear off. Students want to be stretched and challenged. Also, just because a tool worked well once, doesn't mean it will again.

What I thought was disappointing about Bill's post was his example of the student blogs. The way it is written makes it sound like there was no purpose associated with the setting up of blogs and he just expected things to happen. Was there a purpose? Did the students know the purpose? -- I realise it illustrates his point, but to me it seems like a critical teaching component was missing.

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