Here’s a comment I left on the NPR article A School’s iPad Initiative Brings Optimism And Skepticism
When we talk about integrating technology in the classroom I think it’s difficult to have the discussion outside the traditional framework of education: The teacher has to be an expert first and access has to be tightly controlled through pre-selected content, management software, and strict guidelines. I think this does a disservice to students, communicates that they are not capable of using technology well without adults telling them what to do first and breeds over-dependence.
As was shown by the music teacher’s experience, when you give students some agency in their own learning they’ll come up with some amazing results. I think teachers’ reluctance to adopt technology is often a reluctance to relinquish control. I understand that it’s difficult to change what has been the norm for a long time. But if there’s one thing technology has provided it’s the ability to direct one’s own learning. I think we’re obligated to facilitate this and provide all students with high speed internet and devices to access it. Of course there are financial and infrastructure obstacles to overcome. But I don’t think it’s acceptable to essentially say, “The world’s knowledge is readily accessible, just not for you.”