Thursday, March 29, 2012

1:1...More Than Digital Paper

While my school is not yet, or even close to 1:1, I have had the good fortune of helping roll out an iPad cart in my classroom. Now that I am dipping my toes into a semi-1:1 classroom I have been paying close attention to the discussion around 1:1 classrooms and particularly 1:1 iPad classrooms. At the high school level, I have noticed that this discussion has revolved primarily around how 1:1 can create a paperless classroom.

While I am all for a paperless classroom and recently wrote a post about a paperless iPad research process, I think if we approach 1:1 with a narrow definition of being strictly "paperless" we are missing the boat. 1:1 means more than digital paper. It means our students have devices in their hands what is the equivalent of a word processor, recording studio, editing studio, movie camera, dark room, print shop & computer all in one. Of course, going 1:1 can allow for a paperless classroom and concerns such as workflow, management, feedback and submission of work are important conversations that need to take place. But isn't it possible and likely plausible that students in a 1:1 iPad classroom can and should be expected to submit work in multiple formats? iMovie to create, edit and publish video. GarageBand to create, edit & publish audio. Skitch, Vizualize and Photoshop Touch to create, edit and publish images. Pages to write and publish text.

With the rapid change in technologies available to our students, shouldn't we be rapidly changing not only what we expect, but what we allow our students to create as a demonstration of their learning and understanding with these devices? I wonder if in 100 years, people will look back at 2012 as a terribly misguided period in education whe the resources were ready, capable and available, yet the expectations were grounded in an antiquated mindset...

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