Monday, March 7, 2011

A technology utopia



What if every student, upon entering high school, were handed a lightweight, wireless-ready laptop and an e-reader? Heavy, boring textbooks instantly become a thing of the past ... and all lessons involve an interactive, tech-based component.

Everything instantly changes ... messy, tiring handwritten essays are typed with ease - as students surf the web, pulling in content and finding a world of resources at their fingertips. Skilled educators help these kids navigate the info superhighway safely and productively.

And classroom activities routinely center around smartboards and connected classrooms - as ideas are exchanged among classes, and even across countries and cultures.

So. What would the results of this digital revolution actually be?

I paint this dreamy scenario because so much of the education dialogue centers around tech, and the promise it brings. So back to my question: What would actually happen in this ultra-wired, digitally collaborative world?

My guess is very little, in terms of ultimate impact and short / mid-term academic progress.

Folks, we are polishing a bruised apple: Until we experience a societal shift in values, and education emerges as a true priority versus a political talking point, not much will change.

Discipline, hard work, ambition, accountability, morality.

Without these ideas being embraced by our larger culture, any tech utopia we construct will be built on a foundation of clouds.

2 comments:

  1. I believe, the fact being that technology is becoming more and more abundant amongst children, teens, and adults, that if education takes a more technological angle, students will be more prone to pay attention. I'm a prime example. I sit in your class every day, and do almost all of my classwork on my laptop. Learning needs to become a more interactive activity as well, and technology can definitely help with this. SMART boards, for example, are definitely a step in the right direction.

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  2. I appreciate the feedback Raz, but the one student who uses a laptop in my class does only a fraction of the assigned work - and is one of the lower performing students despite his extremely high potential. He's gifted, yet appears to lack work ethic and focus. I think you are making my point. : )

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