Sunday, July 6, 2008

Classroom Technology Deployment Modes

In reading and reflecting on the responses I got to Assignment #1, I had an 'ah ha' moment.

I am not surprised to hear that many students lament and are discouraged by the limited access to technology that they and their students experience currently. I would like to make 2 points that may help, though:

1) Using technology with students does not necessarily mean that they each have access to their own computer (either one-to-one laptop or access to a lab). The one computer classroom when facilitated by an LCD projector or Smart Board (Interactive Whiteboard) in many ways is superior. In the course of a day's teaching and learning, a well run classroom will configure itself fluidly from whole group, to individual, to small group learning - I am referring, of course, to the non computer enabled classroom. This is the way teaching and learning have been accomplished for ages in a print dominant classroom. For some reason the assumption has been made that when the classroom goes digital, it must do so solely in the individual mode, which is only one of the 3 proven modes of instruction. I would assert that if only one mode were possible, the Smart Board enabled whole group approach would prove the most valuable.

FYI - there are many colleague to colleague articles and podcasts on the web in which actual experience of using the Smart Board are presented and discussed. Here's one and I would encourage you to seek more as the spirit moves you

2) While it may seem that the high cost of computers will forever keep our classrooms in the have/have not world established by this prohibitively expensive commodity, things ARE changing. Take a look at an article I wrote recently for Converge Magazine for a glimpse into what is coming upon us quickly:
(scroll to page 19)

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