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Where are the computers?

This weeks mass hysteria from the NZ Herald has been brought to you by Orewa College's decision to add digital devices to their stationery list for Y9 students.

Their preference is for an iPad2, which is, as I understand it, based on the battery life. It's this expressing of the preference that has caused the brouhaha in talkback-land. Talk of "haves" and "have-nots". Talk of bullies beating up nerds for their iPads. Talk of "well, back in my day..."

Thankfully, there have been many useful and pertinent points added to the debate.

And the point is this.  It's not about the device.

Just as good writing isn't about the pencil or the pen that's being used.

It's about how the devices are being used - to create, deliver and support rock-solid teaching and learning. Learning that makes a difference - not just to test scores - but to the lives of the students we look after.

If Orewa College have done their research and are making the best decisions for their students then they are fulfilling their duty of care. If they've made those choices based on sound pedagogy, a sprinkle of PR pixie-dust, effective teacher buy-in and appropriate technical support for staff and students - then more power to them.

If they have not done that - then call them on that.

But don't beat them up for making a call on a digital device.

We don't know what the future looks like - we can only guess and boldly imagine.

And we can do our best to support our students to be ready for that future - and do that within the great game of political decision-making that is public education here in NZ.

Ultimately, if your vision for education is "future-tinted" like this one from Elmo.... then we're all muppets really.

 

 

 

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