Saturday, March 9, 2013

What is the Best Device?

I have discovered in my career that to best prepare our students for their futures a 1:1 environment of student to computer or device is the best way to go. I've come to this conclusion from having students work in a lab, in my classroom with 10 computers, and in my classroom with one computer or device per student. I wrote about that evolution here:
Evolution of 1:1

I came across this post by a teacher who has found that having different devices, as opposed to every kid with an iPod or an iPad, works better for him.
 Why Mish-Mash is Better Than 1:1

I tend to agree. iPads have some definite benefits, as do other tablets, but they cannot replace a laptop. Yet. I do believe that tablets will continue to improve to the point where maybe they, or something like them, will replace our need for laptops and desktop computers. But we are not there yet.

The comments in the above Mish-Mash post were very interesting. One commenter in particular referenced a post he wrote showing how iPads are not what schools should be purchasing for students:
 Just Say NO to iPads for Education, Part 2: iPads Do NOT Meet Today’s Educational Needs

The article is a good read and definitely good for conversations we need to have as we decide what technology we plan to place in our kids hands. Personally, I do not agree with the author. I think that just because computers, specifically PC's, are the main device being used out in the "read world" now doesn't necessarily mean it will be when our primary, elementary, or even middle school kids graduate high school.

So even though I want us to discuss and share our thoughts about which device or devices we want to put into our children's hands, I am not against having a 1:1 iPad program. If possible, I would prefer having a 1:1 iPad and maybe Chromebook or Macbook program but I do believe we can do a good job of preparing our students to be successful with iPads.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

Al González

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