Transferring media on and off is a hassle. I just spoke to a math teacher in Traverse City yesterday who is doing video assessments of his students. He loves the idea, but getting student-created content off the iPads has been an issue all year.
Mobile Safari’s lack of flash support hurts terribly. I don’t know how many people have told me flash is dead but that’s not the reality I see around me. Much of the free inquiry-based interactive content on the internet is flash. In three years that might change. In three years iPads may be a good fit for our school.
Teacher’s are unfamiliar with the tool and feel uncomfortable and unsure about how to utilize it effectively. This isn’t just a professional development issue as some suggest. Changing pedagogy simply to incorporate technology is bad practice. The technology must fill some need in the classroom or it’s just an expensive way to buy student interest. Please understand I’m a strong proponent of tech in the classroom but not if it’s forced. Sometimes paper and pencil really is a better option than Penultimate. Sometimes asking for a show of hands or using individual marker boards is better than using Poll Everywhere.
It looks like small laptops aren’t the answer either. Traverse City isn’t thrilled with their laptops. They’re too small (11 inch) to do what the teacher’s want them to do; students constantly end up scrolling back and forth across the page. 13 inch models worth getting are out of our price range as a school (you do get what you pay for).
So… that leaves us with the BYOD (bring your own device) option. I’m not thrilled with the idea more from the financial standpoint of parents. BYOD is an increase in tuition. There’s no way around it. However, it’s also financially sustainable from the school’s point of view. I wonder what these local public schools are going to do when the bond money runs out. In order to make it work, we would need to specify minimum device requirements, give parents purchasing recommendations, and get community buy-in before attempting to do anything. If technology is just an add-on or a way for us to keep up with the local public school, then I would vote against it. As an school community, we need to agree on a vision for education and the role technology plays in implementing that vision.
If you are 1:1 in your school, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.