Framing the issue correctly

This eSchoolNews article discusses the recent Wall Street Journal article criticizing one-to-one laptop programs and contrasts it with ISTE's new book highlighting successful laptop programs. Here's the problem...


The article title says that educators and parents are "split on the effectiveness of one-to-one learning." The concerns stated in the article, however, are not with the effectiveness of the learning that is occurring but rather the effectiveness of the teaching that is occurring and/or the lack of appropriate supervision / security measures by schools. Framing the issue incorrectly leads to incorrect solutions.

For example, if the laptops aren't being used well instructionally by teachers, isn't it a wrongheaded solution to give the laptops to them instead of the students? Aren't there better (and fairly obvious) solutions to the actual problem? Similarly, if students are using laptops inappropriately, isn't that an indictment of the school's acceptable use policy and enforcement thereof? If we're going to raise issues with one-to-one computing, we should at least be clear and fair about what the real issues are (e.g., like cost).

As Don Knezek, CEO of ISTE, notes in this article, and as David Warlick has noted elsewhere, soon the idea of students having to "go somewhere" (e.g., to the computer lab or to get a laptop from the cart) rather than having the technology with them 24/7, is going to seem awfully antiquated. Anyone else feel that this article, which actually spent very little verbiage on the supposed issue of student learning, was a little sloppy?

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