OK, time to smash out another post because my #Bloggermore2015 project is almost dead in the water. I always have an excuse, but this time it’s a legitimate one rather than pure fantasy. I have spent considerable time these past few weeks looking at my school’s IT plan for the next three years. At this stage we have all Year 8-10 students with their own iPad provided at parent expense. Our senior students are involved in a loose, informal BYOD program. But now, that’s all going to change.
Those of you who read my rants on a regular basis would know I am an unabashed fan of the iPad as a classroom device. My wife likes to refer to my iPad as the “third person in our relationship!” However, my colleagues, our students and their parents have now voted overwhelmingly for a full, school wide laptop program. My reaction was calm and understated …
So, “The iPad is Dead, Long Live Laptops.” I fully expected objections from parents and teachers. The surprise was certainly the reaction from students who declared that they found their iPad a distraction and would much rather carry a laptop. One particular student survey response had us all rolling in the aisles.
“Please get rid of the iPad, it’s so distracting. If you don’t get rid of iPads I will not do well in school, resulting in bad grades, which means no good paying work, ending in not having a home, and then being homeless. IF YOU DONT CHANGE THE DEVICES IN THIS SCHOOL I WILL BE HOMELESS, I WILL BE LIVING ON THE FROZEN OVER CEMENT STREETS OF AND IT WILL BE ALL YOUR FAULT. Thank you for your concern.”
It seems that the students still see iPads as a consumption and entertainment device. Personally, I see it from a slightly different viewpoint; teachers have failed to demonstrate for students how to unlock the full learning potential of their tablet device. This is not a criticism; the pace at which technology continues to advance will inevitably leave time impoverished teachers struggling to keep pace.
My next problem; what to do now to ensure that laptops are used to redefine student learning? (Please send your fully comprehensive programs to me by November … oh, go on, please!) Otherwise, here is my Plan B.
“You have to believe me Your Honour; they all just spontaneously burst into flames!”