What Are Our Excuses, Again, For Not Putting Computers in the Hands of Our Children?
So began Scott McLeod’s blog post today which was backed up by an inspiring Ted Talk video about kids learning from each other. I couldn’t agree more that, with the price of powerful computing coming down and down we’re still so reluctant to put these most powerful learning tools into the hands of students in any systematic way.
So why not? Well, here’s some excuses I’ve heard
- It’s too dangerous for students to be connected
- It’s distracting
- It’s not the real work
- How do we test for it?
- Our teachers don’t like it
- It’s easier to keep the computers out of the classroom than re-educate the teachers
- It’s not proven
- It’s not literacy or numeracy
- They can use computers at home
- Their handwriting will suffer
- It makes them hollow and vacuous and sallow and emaciated (or words to that effect!)
- We can’t afford it
- They won’t look after them
- We can’t afford the bandwidth
- I want them to look at me, not a screen
- Parents don’t like it
- It’s not collaborative
- It’s too collaborative
I’ve honestly heard all of these, and mostly in these words! I’ve seen schools begin a 1-1 notebook and abandon it because entrenched conservatism from teachers or parents made it ‘unworkable’. I think we’ve got to be bigger than that.
Below: the TED talk video