I was cleaning up some old bookmarks, and came across a few articles that, if for no other reason than to keep for myself, I thought I should post. Some are old, and a few older. But they are no less relevant, since we get the same old answers.
iPads can’t improve learning without good teaching Pt 1 – An article from a pro-iPad person that admits it’s really about the teaching. “It’s why we have to think of what we want them to do as learners, not what can the iPad do. We have to make the iPad suit the learning, not make the learning suit the iPad to justify having it.” HSE 21 came at this from the wrong direction, assuming the conclusion. We never had a chance. I never could find Part 2, though.
Technology for 21st Century Learning: Part 1 – Another part 1 post with no part 2; sorry. This one shows that people have been asking the same questions since 2010. But why are there no answers? “21st century learning is about the experience, not about the tools you are using. The experience defines the tools, not the other way around.” I said the same thing here and here, a voice in the wilderness.
Why iPads Haven’t Changed Much In Your Classroom – A July ’14 refresh of a post originally from 2012. This was when Apple announced it’s revolution in electronic textbooks. My read is that it says the program is unproven, there’s a lot of concern about the infrastructure needed, and also concerns about this being too closely tied to other Apple technologies. The best part, though, is a Steve Jobs quote that never gets old:
I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent. It’s a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. – Steve Jobs, 1996.
What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools? – A general article about education from Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish author, government official, and education expert. He has a book on the topic, as well, though I’ve not checked it out. In short, Finland’s system works so well because they first reward and empower teachers, then expect results. The US system is essentially described as no carrot, all stick. US teachers would probably thrive in Finland assuming they met the rigorous qualifications (and knew the language). Finnish teachers would probably wither on the vine here where everybody that ever went to school is an expert. Although the article was for the Washington Post, funny that the example he uses is Indiana. Or perhaps not so funny. He looks at several fallacies and deconstructs (i.e. dismantles, discredits) each one.
- The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.
- The most important single factor in improving quality of education is teachers.
- If any children had three or four great teachers in a row, they would soar academically, regardless of their racial or economic background, while those who have a sequence of weak teachers will fall further and further behind.
All four points are completely false. Unfortunately, all of the Very Serious People (to borrow Paul Krugman’s verbiage) know these to be true. They cannot be convinced otherwise, regardless of what proof one might provide.