A few weeks ago I wrote about 21st century learning environment “jargon” being used in the marketplace. Obviously those terms go hand in hand with classroom technology.
With school starting back soon, it’s interesting to see technology changes being implemented into the classroom. One of the popular changes is one-to-one or mobile technology as a teaching tool. Schools can adopt this change fairly easily because the school can provide and support the infrastructure while students provide their own tablet or smart phone. According to CNET tablet sales will exceed laptop and desktop sales by 2015.
Kids are also getting these devices at an early age. My 7-year old will be entering 2nd grade this fall and has been selling lemonade and popsicles all summer so he can purchase his own tablet. He’s not quite there and I’m not sure how long we will be able to hold him off! The interesting fact is that he is very comfortable with my iphone or my wife’s Droid. Why not let that fearlessness become a teaching tool?
The other interesting aspect of incorporating mobile technology in the classroom is the personal devices go home with the students and therefore learning continues beyond the school building. With schools adopting cloud storage, they can see a decrease in hardware costs and hopefully see an increase in use, after school hours.
But, all of this technology comes with responsibility of the users. Schools need to have firewalls and filters to prevent distractions. Equipment and bandwidth needs to be strong and dependable. We have all experienced work days when we forget our cellphone at home or email is down. Imagine a classroom with 20 or so eager learners who have to wait for a restart of the system.