The future of learning is here…and surprise, it involves students using with technology.
Everyday, more and more K-12 institutions investigate adopting 1:1 technology or BYOD programs in hopes of providing their students with the most cutting edge teaching and learning. However, with each decision, although generally a minority, there are a loud minority of teachers, families and districts hesitant to give students that power.
Since when is students having access a bad thing?!
After meeting with a majority of families for parent/teacher conferences this week, and hearing 10% or so vocalize their opposition to 0ur school’s one-to-one iPad program in some way, I wonder “are we marketing the technology correctly?”
You see, it isn’t about iPads vs. laptops, school controlled vs. BYOD. Technology is the pathway toward changing education paradigms, as Sir Ken Robinson shows. For decades, students have sat passively taking notes, raising their hands and waiting to be recognized to regurgitate facts. What learning has this led to?
It is 2012. Students have access outside of the school building, why not allow access within the walls of the one area where they can learn to use it in the right way. It is the wave of the future! No family, whether in opposition to use of EdTech or not, can emphatically deny their child will need to communicate effectively, collaborate with peers, be creative with technology and think critically in the future. Education technology is the means in which to teach students the 4 C’s of 21st Century learning.
On Tuesday morning, after @edmodo being down from 2-10pm Monday, I was met with many 7th grade students who couldn’t do their homework due to the outage. So I asked, “what would we have done if it weren’t through Edmodo?” Many said they would have written it in a notebook. Then one student chimed in…”I did the homework, Mr. Reichert,” he said.
“Oh really, how?” I said, skeptical of where this was heading. ”I posted it on Edmodo this morning, on my way to school, using the 3G from my cell phone.” I congratulated him on how he thought critically to solve the problem. This is truly mobile learning.
You see, with the technology, students are not only asked to learn the content presented in new and more engaging ways, they learn how to troubleshoot minor problems as they arise quite unexpectedly. It is stories like these which consistently reinforce that using technology to aid learning is not only the right thing to do; it is necessary to do.
To the schools, teachers and families who are so afraid of the giving power to our students, I ask, “isn’t the job of schools to prepare students for success in the future.”
“If we teach students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” -John Dewey
What are you waiting for?