(My disclaimer is that I do not have an answer to this question!)
This question is something that I have discussed repeatedly in my educational career, and it may be one of the most important questions that schools need to analyze if they truly want to change. One to one learning is one way to enhance what students learn and the ways that they learn. It can turn teacher centered classrooms into student centered classrooms. More importantly, it can move students from the bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy to the top level where students create.
Unfortunately, one to one could also serve as a tool to promote the ways things have always been done. Computers can serve as an amazing set of encyclopedias, and they are obviously a great organization tool for most individuals. I cringe when I hear about students that are using technology in this way, but it is happening.
So how can schools use technology to transform education?
One recommendation is to truly identify what students should learn and make those things the focus of everything the school does. On my post from last week, I wrote about the core values from the Science Leadership Academy. Those values pictured below were present throughout the school, and I don’t mean that they were present solely as posters on the wall. You could see those values demonstrated in everything that staff and students did.
Schools need to genuinely evaluate the things students are learning in school. How much time should you spend on something that students can find on the Internet in a few seconds? How important is a concept if most adults don’t know the information?
An idea to get this conversation started at your schools would be for teachers to bring one of their tests to a staff meeting and pass those tests out to others to see how your staff does with tests from other subjects. More than likely, teachers will do very poorly on the assessments from outside of their content area. This idea can generate some good questions that may get staff thinking about what students are learning in their classes. If a group of successful adults can’t answer the questions, is it really that important that students can?