Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Disruptive learning - are two iPads in the classroom enough?

Recently over dinner, my wife (newbie teacher) and I debated on the merits of technology in the classroom. As a primary educator, she believes while mobile technology stimulates students to engage in the learning process - nothing beats oral stimulation, reading and writing. Additionally she argues, why should we invest in to technology when we are sadly in need of quality teaching materials.

According to the Journal, teachers spent ~ $3.2 Billion on class rooms tools. Roughly half of that cost is out of pocket expenses. I didn't understand why and how a teacher could invest in inventory until I starting making more shelves for books, games and toys in our house. Every garage sale became an opportunity to gather and build up the treasure chest. Our basement could double as a mini JK Library.

While we stock pile paper books - haven't we made the leap to another medium - tablets?
Recently, a study pointed that over 38% of children under the age of 2 had been exposed to a smart phone or tablet device. As more homes embrace the use of mobile technology we are allowing our children to play and learn on their own terms.

The Learning Network boldly asked the following: should tablet computers become the primary way students learn in class? Surprisingly over 153 respondents (over the age of 13) had mixed feelings about the merits of using mobile technology.

As the cost for devices continues to plummet, it makes it reasonable and cost effect for households to rethink the desk computer. How do we encourage our teachers, faculty, principals, school boards to embrace bring your device to school? Are we giving our teachers enough education of what applications to choose, how it works and how they can measure the success of their students? (saving time)

How do we move from the standard 2 iPads in the class room and encourage our children to play, learn and reflect and interact with their friends all over the world? Why is real time learning as information unfolds important for the next generation. What is the impact on social learning and how do we support emerging technology and prepare our children for their careers?

Game on! We need more champions, more parents to continue debates across the dining room table with our significant others. Learning starts at home, at bedtime, during homework and reinforced in our schools. To teach our children to innovate - we need to take the lead and embrace technology - even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone.

Your move....what are you doing to make innovation / mobile learning happen?

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