I have pondering how best to utilize the advancing technology within the classroom to complement the learning outcomes for students. For me, education is all about preparing students for their possible future to be successful members of society, improving the social condition of our society, and becoming citizens of the world.
One of the current trends is the move to 1:1 technology in the classroom. This is where devices, whether BYOD (bring your own device) chromebooks, iPads, or other tablet like devices, are provided to students in the classroom to engage the students in their learning. Different teachers are experimenting in many ways to bring this engaging technology to their students. I have personally enjoyed following @techminock and his ttwoguysandsomeipads.com blog on implementing augmented reality and tech in the classroom. As well, @posickj and his work with grades 4-8 is very insightful and useful for those looking to move forward with the 1:1 trend.
My worries, though, are that some schools are jumping to embrace the technology without thinking through how the technology enhances the learning. Many of the ideas I’ve seen recently (except on @techminock’s blog) can easily be adapted to either one or two computer workstations and good ole fashioned paper and pencil. Even a set of student whiteboards can be adapted to the many lessons that are touted as ‘bringing tech into the classroom.
Companies like Apple, Google, and even the textbook companies like Pearson, are making millions of dollars from schools limited budgets to place iPads, tablets and e-learning. I know that many teachers are thinking about how the technology improves student learning and carefully considering how to implement technology successfully in the classroom. Using blogs, twitter, edmondo, Aurasma and other sites allow students to learn the technology Ina safe environment, but do not need the 1:1 component.
I am not against 1:1, but feel that a lot of thought needs to go into the implementation. On this, I was extremely happy to meet up with @kristenswanson this summer and learn about @brightbytes and what they are doing with analytics around 1:1 in classrooms.
I am reminded of how the process of learning takes time, and just because the teacher across the hall has worked through their own journey to embrace technology, many teachers still need the time to work through their own thoughts before they will incorporate technology in their classroom. If we believe all students learn at their own pace, it must be true for adult learning.
The need to support all our staff members to work through their own learning on this is extremely important and requires careful planning. It for this reason, I believe we shouldn’t rush to provide technology without the staff development that goes with it. We can’t just throw our limited resources and hope that something sticks.