Sunday, September 29, 2013

ipads or other tablets to all students?

It seems that quite a few school districts are giving out free ipads and other tablets to some high school students. They assume this will enhance learning, make things easier, put education on the cutting edge, etc. But is this really a good idea? Does it make a difference? We think there are some issues that need to be looked at before any district starts passing out tablet computers to students.

First of all, does this technology really make students better students? Not really. Sure, it might make things easier, but is easy always better? What's wrong with using the school library and computer lab? Remember, the founders of Apple Computers did not have any technology in their classrooms. We put a man on the moon using men and women who never saw a computer in a classroom. In fact, technology might actually dumb people down. We are tossing out cursive and spelling. Why bother? Just use a computer. Why learn research skills? Just google it!

Where does the money come from? Are your schools lacking supplies, books, classrooms? Are there over-crowded classrooms? Why not address these issues first before spending millions on fun tech toys? Sure ipads can be serious, but on the surface, they are ripe for just having fun.

Is the district locking themselves into one brand? Who is going to fix them? Upgrade them? And most important of all, replace them? After a few months they are all outdated.

Should they be given to all students, or just the ones that do not have this stuff at home? Some parents would see no need to give their child MORE access to the web.

parents might not even want their children doing things in a "lazy way."

If you have ever worked with kids, you know that kids are hardly responsible. Especially with things that are very expensive. Can you trust students with hundreds of dollars of equipment? Why would you?

Things break, They get stolen. They get dirty. They get dropped. They get misplaced. They go through the wash. Can we ask parents to be responsible for these computers? We wouldn't.

Do all these things out weigh any good a tablet computer might have?