One of my parents sent me an email about this article. She said I might find it interesting. I did. I have so many thoughts about it that it's difficult to know where to start. I guess I'll begin with this quote:
"...technology is often embraced by philanthropists and political leaders as a quick fix, only to leave teachers flummoxed about how best to integrate the new gadgets into curriculums."
Flummoxed. Perhaps this is the problem. What do you expect when technology is rushed into the classroom, with little training and preparation for the teachers --it is doomed to fail from the start. Put those laptops in the hands of a tech savvy teacher though and watch them have their kids do amazing things with the devices.
Here is another quote:
"...a survey of district teachers and parents found that one-fifth of Matoaca students rarely or never used their laptops for learning."Once again, in the hands of a capable teacher students would be doing more than their share of learning.
And if we needed any evidence that flummoxed teachers have no idea how to use the laptops, we get this unenlightened statement from a history teacher at one of the schools:
“The art of thinking is being lost,” he said. “Because people can type in a word and find a source and think that’s the be all end all.”Obviously this teacher doesn't feel the need to teach his students how to critically and carefully evaluate these sources. If he did, then his students would be improving their thinking skills, not losing them.
This quote also brings something else to mind: in the age of Google, is it bad that we can type a word or a name and find out something we didn't know before? With so much knowledge just a click away, doesn't that mean we should focus more on teaching problem-solving, creativity, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, etc. instead of teaching our kids useless facts. If this is the way we choose to go, then the laptop is the perfect tool to help us get there.
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