ing, and constructivist approaches to learning, have all been explored and promoted for at least 100 years and they still stand as the best methods of teaching. We only need to start using these approaches and stop acting as if they were just invented. The iPad is the way of the future. During my 40 years in education every new technology has been cited to be “the way of the future” until the next new invention has come along.The problem with iPads, especially where they are used to the exclusion of other technologies, is they present a relatively narrow set of experiences and possibilities, the emphasis being on relatively. Television has an enormous capacity for providing learning content to students but I am sure my readers will immediately agree that television would not be good if it were the only source of technology-based learning.Too much iPad-based learning would not be good either. Now for some right reasons:
also evidences that the decision makers are not expecting technology to fix problems that are only addressed by fixing the curriculum. Considering all the ways in which we can spend our limited resources, this is where we believe the money and resources are best spent.There is possibly no greater demand for services and results than that placed on schools. No wonder then that people outside the system and inside the system look twice when a large expenditure is announced. Five thousand iPads? What about the crumbling school yard equipment? What about the gym equipment that desperately needs replacement? By making and presenting balanced purchasing plans that consider the full gamut of school needs, educators demonstrate responsible and reasoned approaches that get the full support of staff and parents. When I completed a master of education degree and read an extensive
collection of education literature, I was struck by the enlightened views dating back to the mid 1800s. I was struck by how many educators so long ago talked about the same concepts I hear being rediscovered today. Project-based learning, constructivism, explorative learning, and child-centered teaching techniques were fresh before I arrived in my profession and they will be fresh for a long while after. While technology changes every day, people don’t. And systems change even more slowly. Take a deep breath, be ever mindful of the needs of our students, and plod forward. Art Willer is an educator by profession who taught elementary children and teachers of elementary children, completed a Master of Education degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (U of Toronto), and founded Bytes of Learning Incorporated. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to providing learning experiences we have not been able to provide before. Mobile devices offer the opportunity for schools to disseminate devices to students right at their desks. When the devices are used for carefully planned exploration activities, nobody can argue against this. We have conducted pilot studies with smaller groups and have carefully evaluated the outcomes. We are now ready to expand the program. Some might debate the premises behind the program and even debate the conclusions drawn from an evaluation. However, nobody can argue the professionalism of the approach where you experiment in small manageable amounts and learn from the experience so that larger efforts and expenditures are wisely allocated. Our new direction adds to the richness of the curriculum we already offer our students. This reasoning demonstrates that the school aims to enrich its curriculum on an ongoing basis whenever the opportunity arises in whatever form.This reasoning www.seenmagazine.us
SouthEast Education Network FALL 2013
Southeast Education Network issue 15.2