Worth Sharing: Donald Clark Plan B: Why the tablets in schools debacle is over

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iPadWhen will they ever learn? Had I said that iPads in the the schools were not the answer four years ago at the height of the love-affair with the iPad, I’d have been thought a crank.

Wait, I DID.

More than once.

(For more, just try the iPad or iStuff tag on my blog).

My former supervisor thought I was out of touch. People I met a conferences thought I was weird. Well, apparently, I was right (not for the first time). Gee, spending 35+ years in tech and teaching novices about computers and programming for most of that time actually taught me something. How about that.

After the California debacle, schools in five states (Virginia, California, Maine, Texas and North Carolina) are starting to swap out tablets for the laptops they should have purchased in the first place. It started with a survey in Maine, where teachers and students expressed a preference for laptops over tablets. (That’s a novel approach asking the users what they want, as opposed to shoving inappropriate tablets down their throats.)

To be exact, 88.5% of teachers and 74% of grade 7-12 students wanted laptops, not iPads. The observations were clear, that while iPads may be appropriate for young children, they are not suitable for older children who need to acquire writing and other more sophisticated skills using tools that don’t work on iPads,

“shortcomings for older students”

“provide no educational function in the classroom”

“students use them as toys”

“word processing near to impossible … I applaud this change.”

“largely students’ gaming devices”

“a disaster”“WE NEED LAPTOPS!!!” a student said, three times.

Apple has caved in and swapped the tablets for reduced price MacBook Air laptops.

Source: Donald Clark Plan B: Why the tablets in schools debacle is over

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