professornana (professornana) wrote,

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The H Factor

I found this posting ( about how the concept of making education more mechanistic bought-provoking. I agree that sitting kids in front of screens, tablets, and computers is not either education nor teaching. I do part company, though, with this fought from the posting: "Our students don’t need teachers or textbooks to deliver content anymore. Computers, really, do it better."

Teachers are still needed to deliver content. Yes, I understand that the internet has tons of content. But as a delivery system, it is lacking severely. Anyone who has attempted to locate pertinent information or tried to extract meaning from a site whose content seems to have been written by someone who is not competent in writing (or language skills of any kind) or who has landed on a page after following links only to discover that they are now lost knows the limits of information and web sites and content online. Teachers are still needed. How can a web site possibly deliver the content of a teacher who is passionate about her or his subject? How can the internet deliver information for students who might need it presented in a different form, format, fashion? And even when we can tailor screens, how HUMAN is that?

And let's add into this mix once more the "A" factor: accessibility. We have to take care in this rush to technology as part of the answer to our concerns. My own kids came home to find accessibility was simple. However, some of their friends and many of their classmates did not find accessibility outside of the school. Unless all of our students have equal access outside of the school day, we are still creating a digital divide.

I have spent a great deal of time of late creating presentations on APPS for use in the classroom. There are so many 1:1 initiatives in schools across the country that there is a demand for more knowledge. I am happy to share the little bit of expertise I have. However, each time I do a presentation, I wonder about this divide. It is a double divide, if you will. First, there is the divide in terms of teachers' knowledge about apps and software and hardware. There are still too many educators who either eschew technology or who do not have the access themselves. And the second divide occurs, of course, once kids take equipment home. I wonder about kids I have worked with in the past, kids who go home where there may or may not be electricity, running water, and sometimes even a HOME itself.

Perhaps there is a 3rd divide here as well: what about the guardians of these students? How adept are they at assisting kids with tablets, etc?

Forgive the musings; it is a rainy Sunday and I am still a bit tired from travel this week.
Tags: access, human, technology
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