Monday, 13 February 2012

What do you want to do?

During the two fantastic Saturdays that I spent with the Cloud Educator Group, the same question got repeated several times: should we be getting iPads in school?
I've been saying this for quite some time - that is the wrong question. The question we really should be asking is 'What do you want to try and achieve?'
Don't get me wrong, I think iPads are fantastic tools and there is already evidence of some amazing learning happening in schools (@SheliBB is a great example
But....I've always said, 'Give a good teacher a brown paper bag, and they will do a good job with it.'
Technology will never remove the need for good teachers, but it can enhance and empower teachers and learners in ways that we are still discovering.
I know that we will always need those moments of, 'I wonder what would happen if....'. Without them, the amazing innovation that we see in schools wouldn't take place.
But, we do need to take a step back and work out what we are trying to achieve. I occasionally wonder if some schools feel like they should be keeping up with the Jonses, rather than having a clear idea about what impact their spending (with diminishing funds) is going to have.
The Self Review Framework from NAACE refers to an outstanding school as one where, 'The school frequently reviews and updates the place of ICT within its overall vision. It explores and evaluates the potential of emerging technologies, new initiatives and practices. Reviews take account of internal evaluations and changing learner practices within and beyond the school.'
If schools are going to be in a position to make informed judgements about current and future technologies, a good place to start would be reviewing what is already in place, and what impact it is having.

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