Posts tagged education
Thinking about how education might change due to new technology seems like such a huge topic. In many ways, technology has greatly changed the way I teach in the last year. But I do think I have been very lucky to be working in a school that has technology integration through all grade levels as a major area for growth, as well as the budgetary support that is needed to go along with that.
My school considered purchasing class sets of iPads for our K-2 students. Already we have sets for Pre-school and Kindergarten. In the end, we upped the total number to 14, so that other classes could have a chance to use them as well. The applications I have seen used so far for this age group (I have only looked at the ones related to Language Arts) have been for teaching letter/sound associations, tracing letters, matching and interactive reading. Which brings us back to the question that this program has us looking at—is the technology allowing the students to do an old task in a new way or is it allowing them to do something new? To me, it seems, that it is the same literacy related activities that students would have done before, but now they are doing it on the iPad. Which isn’t to say that it isn’t amazing or engaging for the students, I just don’t know that it is moving them in to the realm of something new.
We are an extremely small school. I wondered what the cost would be for larger schools. Earlier this month PCMAG.com posted an article discussing an infographic that focuses specifically on the cost of using iPads as opposed to traditional textbooks in response to the release of iBooks 2. It makes a lot of assumptions, such as students purchasing iBooks for classes, but it is an interesting way to begin getting your mind around the costs involved.
Connectivism, as described by George Siemens is learning that occurs as part of a social network with many diverse connections and ties made possible by the various tools of technology. I found this article a bit difficult to digest, so I followed some links and found this neat little video that really helped me make sense of what this means for students. And now I am sharing it here with you, in the spirit of Connectivism.
I think technology will change education in the next five, ten, fifteen years. It will be much faster for some, those schools that have the funds to purchase the technology and the students that have access to these schools. For others, I think it will be a slower process. I really have no idea how it will work out for the majority of schools that face budget constraints. Sure many students will find ways to connect themselves to their personal areas of interest and learn through the model proposed by Connectivism. I am just not sure schools for the general public will ever catch up.
So what about me? Where will I be teaching in the years to come? I hope in a school that has required laptops for students. I don’t think I can go back to teaching without them. I can’t imagine having to plan my lessons around a shared cart that may or may not be available when I need it. I love my Smart Board and document camera. I have become very dependent!