A TABLET a day keeps the JAIL DOOR away


Yes I know you are thinking about some kind of drug or medicine that will stop people from breaking the law, but in fact when I talk about tablets here, I am talking about ipads.

The premise is in many countries around the world that if the school invests in tablets for every child or teenager, filled with amazing software that the child will be encouraged to focus and learn and as a result get educated and move away from the streets and focus on bettering their life.

Nice idea and thank you (whoever it was) who wants to use education to help all young people.  I completely agree with one thing on this notion, education really is the key to bring people/communities out of the terrible cycle of violence-crime-desperation-poverty etc. It IS the key to the future, but really will ipads do it alone?

There is amazing software out there that will keep any idle mind intrigued, but will the software do it? Will it really change the world?  I am not convinced on this one.

And of course, where is the teacher? Is there are teacher? And if so, does the teacher know what to do?

I suspect the answer to the last question comes generally in one of these ways:

  • The teacher is in the class to manage the class behaviour and make sure students apply themselves to the software demands
  • The teacher is in the class to ensure the students understand the software by following up with additional supporting lessons in case anything is not clear
  • The teacher is in the class to be the teacher, provide an introduction, a set-up, guide the student through the task with the ipad, and facilitate the learning by reminding the student of the relevance of technology in learning and our world

Personally I love No. 3. Though No. 2 can be okay too. This is called blended learning.  The main difference is that the teacher is still the person in control. They must never hand over the power of their classroom to some piece of software that has some important aspects to it, but can never be that spontaneous human touch that we all seek.

As we build more amazing software and technology we need to parallel that with building better teacher training and guidance.

To me that is the future of learning with the tablet. Then and only then can the tablet a day keep the jail door away!

So what do you think everyone?



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