Tablets, Phones, Laptops, Oh My

Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that  presents?

Computer used at a steel mill in 1962.
UNIVAC computer used in 1960 Census

In the ever expanding world of technology it is no surprise that students and teachers are coming to school with electronic devices that just 10 years ago would have seemed impossible to carry in a backpack or pocket. This ever evolving world of technology is pushing the world of education towards a direction suitable for the next generations of children; this new direction is, of course, a one to one classroom where every student will be equipped with a tablet or laptop, and be able to use that device for learning. In some schools this has already been adopted by some teachers or even whole buildings. In these school the teachers are allowing the students to use technology in order to develop a more complex understanding of the material out there. No longer are students required to know the date of an event, when one can simply Google the answer, and get every piece of information about the topic in front of them in real time.

In my experience, seeing the effects of a one to one classroom, mostly in Language Arts, the students are performing at a higher level of task completion. What I can see is that the one to one doesn’t mean the students are developing a more complex critical thinking ability, but instead they are producing projects that a higher level of overall class completion. Students are already advocating for using technology in every assignment given to them. With programs like Google Classroom teachers are able to post, assign, lecture, keep parents informed, and have an easier time keeping track of students work. This also leads to increased feedback responses from teachers. The issue is cost: who is going to pay for all the computers, tablets, or laptops for each student to have?

In my ideal world of teaching I would like to run a one to one classroom with each student having a personal device such as a Macbook, Chromebook or tablet. In the field of Social Studies it has always been about memorizing information and regurgitating facts. I ask myself why? With WiFi, a student can just Google any answer on their phone. I would rather have the students use information found online to develop a greater understanding of the material and researching methods in order to produce a project that reflects the material and the student’s interest. It would also make the role of my teaching a lot easier. I could post lectures, PowerPoint, notes, assignment, etc… to a class website. This would allow students easy, consistent access to anything that they missed or need a refresher on.

In the world today, I do not see any reason for students not to have access to computers in education. It is future of the next generation and beyond. The more access we giving them now, and skills we teach them, the better off they will be in life.

US Census Bureau. (1960) Image. UNIVAC computer used in 1960 census. Website Retrieved October 25, 2015. Link

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