Those abreast of trends in education know the fervor with which traditional teaching is criticized. We should throw out our old models of desks in rows, sages on stages, empty vessel filling, and preoccupation with standards and test. I agree. Period. Let’s stop teaching like it’s 1955.
I shouldn’t have to mention it, but criticizing the current paradigm of education is not an attack on teachers or administrators. There are larger forces at play that make it near impossible for well-meaning educators to change things.
I’m going to add another idea to the mix. I’m hesitant about the rush to adopt 1-to-1 programs. Here are a few of my thoughts:
- Why is 1-to-1 better? Why not 1-to-2, or 1-to-3?
- Wouldn’t one device for two or three students improve information literacy and access WHILE fostering real life collaboration?
- Are devices becoming the new desks? With desks, students are isolated despite being in the same room.
- Adults don’t share devices (generally, with good reason). Do we really need to give kids a head start? I don’t believe sharing devices will hamper students’ learning to use them. On the contrary, collaborative learning is often more efficient.
- Many students have plenty of time to work alone at home. Must we really use precious school time for independent screen time?