Saturday, February 6, 2010

Two Good Reasons to Go 1:1

From the introduction of Livingston's 1:1 Learning - Laptop Programs That Work:

Because we've long known that students need to work at their own pace and in their own way, both school and at home, no one expects students to stand in line or adhere to a schedule for using technologies such as books, pencils, or calculators. However, that's precisely what we've asking them to do with computers."
- Mark Weiser

How effective is a classroom set of textbooks, that students couldn't take home or to study hall to read? That had to remain in the room so that the next class could use the same resources? It isn't, other than to save money. It interrupts the learning process so much, we can't call it a learning process anymore. Leaving the books behind would be a workflow.

We have no problem making sure we are 1:1 with textbooks (in all subject areas, nonetheless), but isn't it just as absurd to leave the access to computers behind?

We need to get past the fear factor that is associated with the web, and I'm not just talking about the safety issue. We're scared of bad information and that children will plagiarize and cheat and that people will lead them astray, and so our reaction is to block it all. That doesn't protect them. It makes them less safe and more ignorant."
- Will Richardson.

Our world in now open to our students; through the portal of the internet, they can connect to people around the globe to learn from and share with. Never before have we had this learning potential before. And yet, we use fear of the world as a reason to shield them from technology. What favors are we doing them? If we don't give them ubiquitous access--if by denying them access, we deny them the opportunity to learn--then we aren't doing everything we can to help them.

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