Friday, November 22, 2013

Weekend Reader on Large Scale Tablet Rollouts

L.A. school iPad program: Students should hack their tablets. [Slate] - A response to the news that L.A. Schools Now Taking Back iPads From Students Who Dare To Use Them For Purposes Of Fun (Consumerist).

EdTech: Chicago's Slow But Steady Tablet Rollout [This Week In Education]

How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses [Wired] - This is the November 2013 cover story, and it's about a border town not too far from me (Matamoros, across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville, TX).

Valley becomes proving ground for innovation in educational programming [The Monitor (McAllen, TX)] - A local article on tech initiatives in my home of the Rio Grande Valley, including McAllen's iPad rollout (I was a part of the pilot group two years ago) and how our region is being looked at across the nation.

The iPad Goes to School: The Rise of Educational Tablets [Businessweek] - Across all of these articles, most educators will notice a central ongoing issue with schools and technology: schools and districts rush to buy the latest and greatest technology with the promise of better results, but rarely think about how to use it effectively until later.

I watched this happen over the past ten years with calculators, "clickers", laptops, software, the Internet, smartboards, and on and on and on. I'm not saying these devices aren't useful or important, but unless schools figure out ways to use them productively (and that doesn't mean using them as glorified textbooks), they'll just end up on the school tech garbage pile.