Kudos to the authors.The problem begins with language - the misuse
of the word "technology". When a teacher turns on the classroom lights,
he/she is using technology. If we believe toys are technology, our future dims.
I am a teacher and a technology teacher at that! I think this whole idea is a
massive mistake. This will be nothing but a nightmare for the schools. Having
a cart of tablets is definitely the way to go. Give each school 1 or 2 carts
per department and we should be good to go. One per kid? No way.Another thought. If we have $200,000,000 lying around, why have we been
holding out on the schools for so long? The student population has risen
drastically in the last few years with no new money. That means larger class
sizes. Where has this money been hiding?
We have a Title I school in our district where students got i-pad for grants.
Let schools and programs within schools try to get fed money first. I'm not sure ipads will revolutionize education for the students who
received said ipads. Great points in the article as well in these posts. Mobile
labs can be just as useful. Also, ask any teachers how distracting cell phones
can be. I see these as much a hinderance as a tool. But with a mobile lab, the
teacher can better direct the learning objectives and the specific use of the
technology. But fighting the students on appropriate times to use technology
from cell phones to now ipads in class can be frustrating and
counterproductive.Further, there is the issue of obsolescence. Will
money continue to funnel in or will this be a one-shot deal? Will it come with
training and support software?Finally, I think many teachers
won't be excited by all this new gadgetry, instead the overworked,
underappreciated Utah teacher will look at this as another slap in the face that
they are valued less than an ipad.
Technology is but a tool, and a limited one at that. The real learning takes
place when you have a well-trained teacher using "best teaching methods"
based on research and classroom experience. Put the money into training!
Let the parents provide it if needed or let the school provide them on a
temporary basis when the class needs them. Many schools already do this now
with laptops. Giving the students an iPad is an unnecessary expense and opens
the student to a wide range of bad stuff, too. And, yes, there are ways to
protect them--at least for awhile, but best not to do it in the first place.
And excellent article that should be read by ALL our legislators!
I thought anyone reading about the debacle that occurred last year in LA with
giving out ipads to students would have realized what a irresponsible and poorly
thought-out idea this was.Apparently our legislatures don't
watch the news?
Thank you, Autumn and Alyson, for these important, very timely, insights.