Mini Rant and Educational Article: Why schools must move beyond ‘one-to-one computing’

A good article to read and think about is: Educational Article: "Why schools must move beyond ‘one-to-one computing’"

The article makes a few important points that I want to address and respond to.

First the article explains: "As many schools and districts are now rushing to buy every student a digital device, I’m concerned that most one-to-one implementation strategies are based on the new tool as the focus of the program. Unless we break out of this limited vision that one-to-one computing is about the device, we are doomed to waste our resources."

And then the article concludes with "In every case of failure I have observed, the one-to-one computing plan puts enormous focus on the device itself, the enhancement of the network, and training teachers to use the technology. Then, teachers are instructed to go! But go where? That’s the critical question that must be addressed first."

As a teacher who has 1:1 iPads many of these critiques are important to address; but there are solutions.  The device in 1:1 programs is not a solution. The device - be an iPad, laptop, etc - is not the magical pill that will fix a classroom.

Instead the device - the 1:1 tool - provides a teacher with the ability to tailor and individualize lessons to help students read, write, and think critically and independently. The device unlocks the internet - but the internet alone is not a solution either. Teachers must first understand what their students need to learn - students must master the ability to consume information - by reading; reading books, reading articles, reading graphs, reading visuals, comprehending videos, audio books, and so much more. The types of consumption material allows a myriad of types of learners to succeed and thrive. Second students must master how to produce information - to write - by writing comments, papers, graphs, charts, scripts for videos, and so much more. And then finally students must learn how to think for themselves - not to repeat information but to synthesize and analyze information to draw their own conclusions. Today's world provides a near infinite amount of information but processing the information is the new challenge.

These 1:1 classrooms provide the opportunity for every child to learn - to open the world up to the possibilities. 1:1 classrooms will transform education - but these plans are not the solution. There must be directions determined by the teacher, by the district, to prevent learning from being lost in the possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment