This is what popped into my head, as I was tweeting with Lisa Dabbs  and others about EBC11 topic of bring your own device.  The comment that brought this to me was, “bringing your own device is a more sustainable model than district or school purchase.”  I immediate thought “impossible.”  We all view the world through our own lens and mine is one hued by my high poverty teaching situation.  I am blessed to be the winner of a 1:1 ipad grant that I spent HOURS writing and honing to communicate how passionate I am about bringing technology to a place where there is little access.  But had I not written the grant and had this opportunity, where would I be and where would my students be?  I know the answer and it saddens me, but the better question is how can I make this better?

Well leave it to the Beatles for some inspiration.  It is so easy to sit back and shout “unfair” but how can we work to make it more fair, more equal? I could spend all my time coming up with the why of this situation, but I think my energy is better spent asking, how can I make it better.  “Remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better…. let it out and let it in….. hey Jude begin to make it better”  Let’s make technology the love that needs to be let in and out of teachers, students and schools.  I am hoping to use my 1:1 device grant to be the technology to create the “technology spring” at my school.  I want to allow access to students, but also parents, and share the learning with the community so all can see its value.  One thing I have learned is the power of access and sharing.  Twitter has given me this access and I think ipads can do it for my kids who in the past have used technology for testing almost exclusively (now that’s a sad song!)

Change is hard, I am not sure if it’s human nature to resist it, but I know its hard for some teachers, and here is where I think the students can be the role models.  Children are the most flexible people I know, especially when it comes to new things.  Technology is something that when used properly will really excite them.   When I go back to the idea of what fairness is I think technology done RIGHT can be the ultimate equalizer.  Now don’t get me wrong, like textbooks or other curriculum tools HOW you use them is the most important factor.  If my students use the computer lab in my school for testing, I think its misuse of the tool.  Here is the thing about using any tool right….You have to work at it and its usually not easy at first.  But what a great way to learn along with the students.  Showing them how this is new and excited for everyone and learning together is important.   I am hoping that if I can work hard and teach with ipads in my class and produce results in learning, teachers, parents, administrators, etc will become interested in what is working.

What I know is that what works usually requires a lot of work from all involved, but again another “teachable moment.”  But that is how it gets better.  My idea once I have something established with my classroom ipads is to create a ipads 101 for parents and teachers.  The teacher end would be doing small workshops for interested teachers in my building with some quick wins for learning.  This seems a little counterproductive considering we want engaged learners as creators, but if this starts as a safe entry point I think its one worth exploring.  The idea for parents would be to get experience with how their children are learning and see how technology is changing their child’s education.  Parents at my school tend to have other children at the school and also extended family members.  If enough get interested and involved maybe this will lead to a revolution of technology.  Like all revolutions starting with a spark of an idea is the beginning.

So as the Beatles so eloquently stated, let’s try to make it better!

Advertisements