Computers, electronic whiteboards and other interactive technologies are fundamentally changing American education . That’s the view of the experts whom The Times spoke with about what the classroom will look like ten years from now. Listen to excerpts from their predictions below, and share your own thoughts in the comments section.
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My daughter’s middleschool has a pilot program to use iPads. She’s not in it, and I don’t know whether to be sad or glad; I expect significant pain…
What do you think has had the most impact on education since YOU went to grade school? Calculators? Internet? I think I’d vote for cheap photocopying; the cost of handing kids a xerox copy of notes or a worksheet seems to be the same or less than making a ditto copy was back when I was a kid, and so the amount of paper that comes home is enormous. It’s not all good; one of the high school teachers had a comment along the lines of “some of our kids have never had to take notes for themselves, so we’re going to try to teach them that this year.” She was a bit of a condescending jerk, but I don’t think she was entirely wrong, either…
If you haven’t yet seen the Google and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded website, http://www.khanacademy.org, the owner of which has also delivered a TED presentation, check it out! I have no affiliation with the website whatsoever, but am happy to evangelize for them as they deliver a truly ingenious and remarkably simple new form factor for learning. A pilot program has been underway for over a year at an elementary school in the SF bay area basing their curriculum around the website.
I disagree that the Khan Academy is "truly ingenious" or even "remarkable" or that it’s a remotely "new form factor" for learning. Save the fact that learners can pause the video and rewind it, there is very little that is new. It’s lecture based and is often touted as a way to do more interesting things during class time now that lectures can be done online (either by Khan or other sources).
What I’m most interested in is hearing, reading, seeing what is happening opposite the entranced video lectures that students will be assigned for homework. What are educators really doing with students to make it the best 7 hours of their day? What problems are THEY finding in their world and seeking answers to?
Interestingly, I’m a instructional technology specialist and deal with all the "latest and greatest" tools, software and gadgets. Too many times I see schools try to outfit their classrooms (and not children) with technology they can claim to be "revolutionary" that results in marginal results.
I do think that projects like the ones presented here on Adafruit can have much larger impact on learning than the interactive whiteboards or even iPads.