Reflecting on a Reflection

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

So, I’ve been thinking about how a 1:1 classroom and school should look. What should you see as you walk around? My school will be 1:1 in the middle school (6th-8th grades) next fall (2013) and then in the high school  in fall 2014. I’ve been to visit a number of schools with 1:1 programs with some of my colleagues. I’ve seen all different things in the classrooms.

City Refraction, City Reflection

Creative Commons photo by Flickr user lragerich

The other day I was talking to a parent who is working on a story for our publications. She was asking about the goal of the program. One of the things I said was that I will know we are being successful when computers are less special, maybe even kind of boring. Something like that, anyway. I explained that what I meant was that technology should be just another tool to be used or not used as the situation dictates; that technology should not be the focus of the learning, just a vehicle; that it should become less cool, more just there. Ok, I admit, not the smoothest description.

What I then described was an instance last year in 5th grade when I knew I was witnessing exactly what I just described. I had given some sort of directions for the task at hand, I don’t remember. Anyway, the students were in groups and had the option to use any tools they wanted-laptop, iPad, paper, pencil, book, whatever. One particular student was taking charge of her group; she’s a take charge girl. Some of her group wanted to rush the laptop cart, storm the iPads. Instead take-charge girl took charge and lead the group in thinking about what they needed (novel concept). They decided, ok she decided, that what they needed was not a laptop for each of them, but what they a single laptop and a single iPad, and a few books. Done. She was right. She was right because she’s a smarty-pants (in a good way) and because for her technology is not an event; it’s one tool. She knew they needed some tool (technology) and some information (some technology, some books). It will be a surprise when I say that this group accomplished their task quite well.

Anyway, the other evening I happened to be wandering about on Twitter. I saw @ChrisLehmann‘s tweet about a blog post called Ubiquitous. Just what technology should be. Here’s the last paragraph:

. . . when it is ubiquitous, it becomes a part of who we are and how we learn. That is the pathway to helping students understand the world in which they live. When it is ubiquitous, students learn how to put it away when they want to or they need to. When it is ubiquitous, it is no longer special. That is the moment when we stop worrying about integrating technology and start concerning ourselves with learning.

He pretty much sums it up.

What does ubiquitous technology mean to you?

How will you recognize it?

  1. Dolly Dunlap says:

    With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.

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