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School District Abandons iPad Program
posted by: Ruthie | October 07, 2013, 08:30 PM   

As technology continues to evolve and expand, it is rare to hear of a school moving away from the use of new devices and programs. However, the South Bend School District, near Houston, Texas, recently abandoned a $16 million plan to incorporate iPads into classrooms.

According to review board members, the goal to incorporate iPads into classrooms is unrealistic. Due to inadequate skills and concerns over implementation, the district is favoring more traditional strategies.

The district’s judicious approach to technology implementation provides a unique example for schools considering new technology. While iPads, laptops, tablets, etc. are useful and sometimes preferable in achieving excellence in education, technology is not a silver bullet for learning.  Computers, tablets, and other devices do not change the reality that having quality teachers is the most factor in creating a successful learning environment.

M.I.T. professor and author, Cherry Turkle, writes about the unanticipated consequences of electronic technology: “We become smitten with the idea that there will be technological solutions to these knotty problems with education, but it happens over and over again that we stop talking to kids.”

Joel Klein, chief executive officer of Amplify,
only partially agreed with Turkle, saying, “The world is living in this tech-driven experience. Maybe we all should be concerned about it, but think about how empowering it’s been, and the notion that a device is going to make us less good at producing citizens runs counter to how democratizing this technology is.”

Teachers who can effectively communicate and excite students about learning will always be paramount in education. New York Times author Carlo Rotella, perfectly summarizes the issue of technology in the classroom: “To get the most out of educational technology, teachers must combine those traditional classroom skills with new ones. And their repertoires will have to expand as the tablet’s powers grow.”

What do you think about the growing use of technology in the classroom? Do you think iPads can be effective classroom tools? 
Comment below.


Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Mary Ellen Frederick.MD, October 14, 2013

Technology is a great tool - it doesn't replace good "teaching" which will always be between the teacher and the students. Like any new pedagogy, teachers need to blend the new with the tried and true.
written by Ann Dallas TX, October 13, 2013

I have always felt that "hands on" learning was the best way to learn and teach. Technology is great as a tool, but live interaction with students and among students is critical for social and emotional development as well as intellectual development. Though I do agree that technology can be a great equalizer in having access to information, virtual reality is only that…live interaction, experimentation, and experience will be better in most cases.

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