Friday, April 13, 2007

A little competition

This was posted on the Abilene, Kansas High School Dialogue Buzz website (Courtesy of Kansas High School Dialog Buzz website, via Rae Niles) It was an anonymous post, but VERY powerful. Feel free to share this with educators, parents and stakeholders about the power of the seamless use of technology. What do you think? Is there another side to this competition scenario?

Let’s have a little competition at school and get ready for the future.

I will use a laptop and you will use paper and pencil. Are you ready…?
I will access up-to-date information - you have a textbook that is 5 years old.
I will immediately know when I misspell a word – you have to wait until it’s graded.
I will learn how to care for technology by using it – you will read about it.
I will see math problems in 3D – you will do the odd problems.
I will create artwork and poetry and share it with the world – you will share yours with the class.
I will have 24/7 access – you have the entire class period.
I will access the most dynamic information – yours will be printed and photocopied.
I will communicate with leaders and experts using email – you will wait for Friday’s speaker.
I will select my learning style – you will use the teacher’s favorite learning style.
I will collaborate with my peers from around the world – you will collaborate with peers in your classroom.
I will take my learning as far as I want – you must wait for the rest of the class.
The cost of a laptop per year? - $250
The cost of teacher and student training? – Expensive
The cost of well educated US citizens and workforce? - Priceless

Doug Johnson on his Blue Skunk blog added the teacher's perspective to this competition. Check it out here


HL said...

I couldn't agree more provided that the support is there for teachers as tech users. It's all about purpose and audience.

Furthermore, I find that for the tech savvy students , who are instrinsically motivated--they REALLY take off. For the students who do not understand why or how they are using technology; asking them to use these techniques seems to frustrate them. So I have to figure out how to find additional time to work with them in a schedule that's already rather tight.
Moreover, in trying to add links as supports for classwork, I have had a counselor tell me that some students seem to need additional help in how to read the information presented in electronic form ( in other words, students have difficulty knowing how to navigate and read electronic sources). I agree. We need additional lessons in reading in the electronic age. This type of reading has some differences from traditional skimming, scanning, and deep reading of paper texts.
All in all, I think technology is a terrific tool. I still think we need to work on adequate support and time to integrate in a meaninful way into the existing curriculum.

Coach Tomas said...

some good points but overly biased.
#1 where did the author buy a laptop for $250? last one i bought was over $1,000 and crashed within the year
#2 how many of our kids even have internet access at home.
#3 if the internet is down or a computer crashed at least you can still read your book
#4 spellcheck should not replace learning to spell. #5 whats so big about interacting with the rest of the world, in a chat, when there are LIVE peers and teachers right next to me I can talk to.
#6 books are still free at the library.
#7 it takes me a long time to type
#8 I needed tech support and was on the phone for 2 hrs, I read a book while i waited.
#9 I dont have to turn on paper and pencil to go trough security at the airport

I think technology is great, and a must, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Joseph Miller said...

Coach Tomas,

Good comment!

#1 the cost of the laptop was not $250, but $250 per year. Most computers have a life cycle of 3-5 years. Our current district laptops have a 4 year warranty and cost $1200 or approximately $300 per year. However, many laptops seel right now for less than $700 and should have a three year life cycle minimally.

#2 Not sure how many have it at home, but it matters. About 67% of Americans have internet access at home and many futurists believe that the separation between the haves and the have nots in the future will be who has high speed and who doesn't. We should try to work with our communities and governments to address this issue (like Longmont has).

#3 Yeah, you can still read a book if the internet is down. However, many publishers and technologists estimate that it is only a decade before textbooks are obselete. Many school districts across the country have begun the process of eliminating the paper books and moved to e-books only.

#4 learning to spell is fine, but not a necessity anymore. we don't require drivers to learn stick just because at one time that was the only option. It isn't a bad idea, but far from necssary.

#5 what's so great? It isn't great, it is a requirement. Today we compete and work with people all over the world. Face to face communication is a necessary skill, but world wide communication without human interaction is a much more likely reality for our children than it was for us.

#6 books are free at the library and is scanning all the books in the libraries of Harvard, Princeton and many other libraries. Both are great places to learn!

#7 it takes me a long time to type too...yet, it is necessary.

#8 great use of time.

#9 have you ever had to turn on a paper and pencil?