Bad news for learning hubs?

Via Slashdot I spotted this  New York Times article: Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops. Not very cheery reading for the Learning Hubs team.

Or maybe it's just another reminder that "spray and pray" doesn't work.

Comments

  1. Interesting reading, Robert. I was surprised at the "fall at the first fence" nature of the closing quote from Tom McCarthy:

    “The art of thinking is being lost,” he said. “Because people can type in a word and find a source and think that’s the be all end all.”

    How difficult could it be to come up with something which might convince students to question this "method?"

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  2. Hi Robert,
    I think your second remark is what I take from the article.
    Sounds like lack of training and planning were at the heart of at least some of the problems.
    There was a nice bit about 1-1 in geek!ed! - episode 0069.

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  3. Yes Alan - I guess our job as teachers is indeed to encourage kids to question such easily obtained answers.

    I haven't has a chance to listen to that podcast yet John - I guess I may get a chance in Aviemore tomorrow if the weather is as appalling as the forecasts suggest!

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  4. I think we need to be very careful about taking this type journalism at face value especially when focussed on technology in education. Similar hysteria is being promoted with regards to wifi in the UK at the moment by some Teaching unions and the Independent. The tone of the article is set in first paragraph where it brings together the digital bedfellows of downloading pornography, cheating in tests, and hacking businesses.

    As a piece of research or even objective reporting this article is flawed, relying on anecdote and unsubstantiated claims, with little or no evidence to support any of its main arguments.
    What does become blindingly obvious is that the management of the project has been totally unsuccessful at every stage; as suggested by the following snippets:

    “scores of laptops breaking down” (management & procurement)
    “Resistance from teachers” (involvement, participation and CPD issues - and also professional competence?)
    “did not fit into lesson plans”. (adapting to change not part of learning and teaching?)
    “roaming the internet instead of getting help from teachers” (what help was on offer?)

    And also the schools expectations of the project and the students.

    Seems obvious which outcome the school prefers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think we need to be very careful about taking this type journalism at face value especially when focussed on technology in education. Similar hysteria is being promoted with regards to wifi in the UK at the moment by some Teaching unions and the Independent. The tone of the article is set in first paragraph where it brings together the digital bedfellows of downloading pornography, cheating in tests, and hacking businesses.

    As a piece of research or even objective reporting this article is flawed, relying on anecdote and unsubstantiated claims, with little or no evidence to support any of its main arguments.
    What does become blindingly obvious is that the management of the project has been totally unsuccessful at every stage; as suggested by the following snippets:

    “scores of laptops breaking down” (management & procurement)
    “Resistance from teachers” (involvement, participation and CPD issues - and also professional competence?)
    “did not fit into lesson plans”. (adapting to change not part of learning and teaching?)
    “roaming the internet instead of getting help from teachers” (what help was on offer?)

    And also the schools expectations of the project and the students.
    "If the goal is to get kids up to basic standard levels, then maybe laptops are not the tool. But if the goal is to create the George Lucas and Steve Jobs of the future, then laptops are extremely useful."
    Seems obvious which outcome the school prefers.

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  6. I think you are exactly right Theo. I'm not entirely clear whether or not those planning 1-1 devices for pupils in Scotland have really thought through all this stuff or not. I'm sure someone will let me know :)

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