At my cousins' public high school, all of the students received a Tablet for schoolwork. I do not think that this is the best decision for two main reasons. First, there is a very small amount of work that the students actually do on the Tablets. My cousin, a Junior, said that hardly any of the kids actually use them for schoolwork. They are either on facebook, twitter, or whatever other site they desire. Without a form of control over the Tablets by the teachers, the students are free to play games or whatnot during class. Finally, I do not think that these are cost effective. The school could have used the money used to purchase Tablets for each student for a more effective way of integrating technology in the classroom.

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I agree with you and also disagree. As far as high school goes I think if there was an assigned time they used them and for certain assignments then they can be extremely useful and do things that wouldn't be possible any other way. But having them all the time is obviously not a good idea for the reasons you mentioned above. As far as college goes they become even more useful and in that sense they are much more cost efficient than buying books. For example, a teacher could assign a text to read and put it here on this website and then students can come read it and respond to the reading and each others comments. Much more convenient than any textbook.

yep... you r true.... in classroom of school it is not feasible to give permission to use the tablets. Because it will distract children from study. 

 

I don't have 1-1 in my classroom, but my fourth graders are welcome to bring their own devices. At this point only a few are binging iPods. There may be some game play, but there has been a lot of activity focused on our learning.

What should students do during micro down time? If my students have short blocks of time (10 minutes) while they are waiting for a transition, they work on projects at their desks or around the room. What if they only have a few minutes while others are finishing up an activity? Is it so bad for them to play on their devices, or check their mail and feeds?

I agree completely. I think the Tablets could be too much of a distraction in the classroom to be worth using for educational purposes. The money could be better invested in another form of technology. 

Yeah - at my school all the kids have pencils and paper and it is appalling!

They spend the entire time writing notes to each other in class, drawing little pictures on the top of their work, making paper airplanes and some even draw on their desk leaving graffiti for the cleaners to remove!

So of course we confiscated all of the pencils and the paper thinking that would solve the problem. But we forgot that all of the children in the class had mouths and vocal chords so when they had nothing to engage them they just spent the time interacting with each other and chatting and still did not do any work - unbelievable!

What is really interesting is that I have heard of these amazing teachers (they must be fictitious) who actually do have tablets in their classrooms and are able to create a learning environment that engages their students in powerful learning. I have heard that they do crazy things I have never heard of like 'Flipping the Classroom', 'Project Based Learning', 'Research/Inquiry Based Learning', they have their students collaborate on tasks and communicate their ideas, the kids have ePortfolios, their classrooms are differentiated, their classrooms are not set up in rows, they do 'blended learning' and they have even used a technique called 'Gamification' - which sounds to much like a game to be anything like serious school work.

Obviously these sort of teachers must be fictitious as no classroom could ever be fun and engaging for a student. Furthermore they are clearly doing their students a massive disservice. I mean think about it, what sort of future are they preparing their kids for anyway.

We need to spend as much time as possible with students sitting absolutely still and silent in class reading textbooks, listening to lectures and completing questions out of the textbooks as we all know that is exactly what they will all be doing every day of their lives in the future in whatever profession they choose.

Anyone who thinks anything other that what I wrote is clearly ..... a fantastic educator !!!

I find your sarcastic wit very entertaining. You do drive home  a lot of good points!!

:)

hi.. Tim Barlow,

yes... you are true. i agree with your statement.

Sounds to me like the issue isn't the students, but the teachers. Maybe the teachers haven't been trained on  how to effectively integrate the tablets into the curriculum. There are tons of great applications and activities that can be incorporated into the curriculum that actually promote learning.

As someone who has been around education for a few years, I can empathize with Anna, but also see the potential of the technology - as well as the potential for the teachers involved.  Just as with anything you might look to incorporate into a learning event (lesson plan), the incorporation alone doesn't make the tool or mechanisms effective.  I often like to think of Craftsman's (Sears) mantra from a few years ago "It's about whose hands it's in".  I also agree with Tim's points, (especially how well you contrast one technology for another).  Learning to manage the tools used in learning and instruction is just as important as learning how to manage time during any lesson.  Perhaps someone funded the tablets w/o thinking or enacting good training to the teachers on how they should and could use them.  I would agree with Anna though, unless those sites are being used for instruction (and I've seen cases in which they have been), it can hamper instructional time when it's not directed or focused well.  Perhaps some mechanism like NetsSupportSchool or something similar could be employed, or perhaps specific procedures for using the tablets should have been established to use them more for learning and less for paper-football.

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