Magazine article Technology & Learning

Follow the Tech Leaders (Aka Your Students)

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Follow the Tech Leaders (Aka Your Students)

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I often tell education audiences that there was a week, maybe ten days, in 1987 when their school had better technology than kids have in their bedrooms or backpacks. That was a historical accident that will never happen again. Wise educators leverage not only the talent, knowledge, and expertise of their students but their stuff, too. It is incumbent upon us to build upon not only what kids know and expect when they come to school but also kids' own technology, that they may enhance the learning process. Here's how to do it:

LOCK UP THE LABS

Some schools are building iPod labs. I have no problem with the iPod; I own at least eight of them and am on my third iPhone. I have serious problems, however, with the notion of iPod labs: First, didn't we litigate over the issue of computer labs' efficacy 25 years ago? Second, iPod labs? Really? Does this mean that kids line up from shortest to tallest once a fortnight to go visit the school iPods? Are they then taught how to use an iPod? Are there iPod tests? When did iPods become worthy of study?

If your school believes that iPods hold educational value, especially the new Nano, which can shoot video and monitor physical activity, quietly suggest to parents that they get their child one as a gift that will be welcomed by the curriculum. There is no reason for schools to fetishize the iPod or spend limited funds on what kids may already own. Besides, the iPod is the ultimate personal technology. …

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