Getting a Grip continued from page 91
of which have a much lower cost than an iPad. Personally, I think the Microsoft Surface has a lot of potential for schools because it offers flexibility and productivity along with its mobility. Unfortunately for Microsoft and possibly for our schools, the Surface has been over-shadowed by the iPad.
Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons Every school’s sole mandate is to provide a rich and bountiful education for its students in all aspects of life so they can be better citizens and lead successful lives.That is where the mandate starts and that is where it ends. Every change in the curriculum and every dollar spent in the delivery of education must be justified by well reasoned and well written road maps that clearly connect change and spending with student benefit. The following are some of the wrong reasons to acquire technology in schools: We need to keep up with technology. Ask any business what drives their technology acquisitions.The answer is productivity, competitiveness and better service to their customers. Matching some perception that they are “behind” doesn’t factor among wiser business people or wiser educators. We need to relate to children with the things they are familiar with. The key to any student’s engagement and success is the relevance, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the learning activities we provide from nature hikes to museum visits, from story-writing to being read to. Whether or not we are teaching with the latest gizmos is entirely beside the point. Twenty-first century children don’t learn the way they did last century. Our parenting methods have changed, our schooling methods have changed, and the world has most certainly changed. However, not a single learning gene has changed within our children. Enriched studies, hands-on activities, project-based learning, team-based learning, mentor-
FALL 2013 SouthEast Education Network
Southeast Education Network issue 15.2