Monday, March 9, 2009

Worrying Signs

Today was a day of contrasts for me - on my way to work I was listening to the latest Seedlings podcast, an interview with Michael Horn - one of the co-authors of "Disrupting Class".So inspirational. So many ideas. Later today I received a link to this newspaper article above "Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops" where a school in New York is abandoning their 1:1 laptop initiative after 7 years. Why? What is happening to education? It seems like one step forward and 2 steps back.
I decided that I needed to listen to the podcast again on my way home, one of the quotes that stuck with me is to not use technology for the sake of using technology. It got me to wondering if anyone is doing research into why laptop schemes fail in schools. The article in typical sensationalist reporting tells you all of the bad things that the kids are getting up to, but what had the teachers done? Were they trying to do the same old thing - but just with a computer? Had they developed a VLE with something worthwhile for the students to connect to? Did they have objectives for their laptop scheme from the outset? What sort of planning and professional development did they give their teachers?

Image from The New York Times Article

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