Saturday, June 28, 2008

Classroom blogging limited by lack of technological ubiquity...

The most limiting factor that I currently see to using blogs (or most computer-based technologies) in the classroom is simply the lack of computers. Most classrooms only have one or two computers, and it's difficult to really run with the technology when you can only count on having each of your kids on a computer for maybe one period per day in a lab. Sure, students can use computers to do their homework, but that's not really integrating them into the classroom, is it?

Few schools yet have wireless networks, either. Installing wireless networks and equipping students with relatively inexpensive handheld devices such as HP iPaqs or Asus EeePCs (possibly with Bluetooth keyboards, or voice recognition) would probably be the best option for providing actual in-classroom (as opposed to computer lab) access to a computer, which is really essential to fully leveraging the technology.

Currently, with students trekking to a computer lab to work on computers, the educational experience centres around the computer or the technology, rather than the subject matter. Once every child has a device capable of net access, then the technology will have become ubiquitous enough that the focus will not be on the technology, but rather on the subject matter.

When the technology itself is thought of as akin to pencils and paper, then students and teachers will be able to truly focus on what they can do with the technology. Even better, teachers will be able to integrate the technology into all aspects of their teaching practice.

I'm looking forward to the day when I'll be able to use technology throughout the day, rather than sending my students home to do the fun stuff.

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