I greatly enjoy choices in life. Chicken vs. beef, sneakers vs. sandals, and curly fries vs. tater tots. Choices are wonderful because they provide us with exceptional experiences customized to fit our current situations. Schools, like all of us, have TONS of choices to make, and en vogue today is a great debate about technology in education. For the most part, I perceive a great consensus among educators promoting technology in classrooms for collaborative, interactive learning and differentiated instruction.
But what about all of the choices? The great news is that SO many choices are available to schools that each has the opportunity to decide how EdTech initiatives blossom on their campus.
The less exciting news is that because we have so many options for how EdTech can improve learning, creating and implementing the program that works best for your school can be intimidating and seem nearly impossible.
You may feel overwhelmed with too many EdTech choices (think restaurants with huge menus) and make a decision as many of us do: “I’ll have what she’s having.” The problem with this approach is that your friend’s dinner may not be the one that appeals most to you, it’s just more convenient to go with the crowd. Taking the time to ask your server, check UrbanSpoon, and think about what you’d like for leftovers the next day will likely result in an even more delicious meal that spectacularly suits your refined palate!
We found two blog posts that address this issue with insight and poise (READ: no device arguments here!). William Stites writes about the importance of “educational rationale” for EdTech initiatives (especially BYOD), and Charlie Roy provides snapshots of “lessons learned”in his school’s 1:1 laptop program. These posts are reflections on the importance of choice and making educated EdTech decisions. Just “going with the crowd” and failing to see what’s best for your administration, faculty, students and community may result in less than desirable outcomes.