Ultimately, however, these and similar efforts represent merely a patchwork of innovative programs. Nationwide, lack of connectivity for lower-income students remains a serious issue—one that is too often ignored when districts rush to bring tablets into their classrooms. Inequities widen when technologies are increased too rapidly, says Patricia Burch. She questions whether enough districts, even in the aftermath of the highly-publicized LAUSD fiasco, are thinking through this and other issues. “I’m not seeing it. And there are always new products and services around the corner that they will be pressured to buy.”
Digital tools like iPads can help create powerful learning environments, so it’s frustrating that districts fail to communicate why they’ve made this major investment, says Tom Daccord.
“There are already enough educators who don’t believe these tools support good teaching, so we have to do a much better job at making sure the discussion is about learning. With education technology, we really don’t want to be stuck in the either/or paradigm.”
Top photo: Brad Flickinger/Creative Commons