Schools across the United States have been trying out tablet programs with their students. Each class gets tablets to let their students use during class-time, for guided independent study. Students can pick a topic, research it, and put together a presentation, all on these tablets. Pretty impressive, right?
This is an expensive program, though, and when we’re dealing with technology as sensitive as tablets, it’s tempting to wonder how much good it’s actually doing. Tablets break easily — children aren’t always as careful as they should be, yet if you only give tablets to older children, there’s a good chance they’ll figure out a way to get around any controls on the system. Some programs even offer students the chance to take the technology home and get to be really familiar with it. It almost sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? Why are we putting all this technology in the schools?
Well, it’s almost always been there. Before tablets, there were schools who required students to have their own personal laptops. In some cases now, certain smartphones are approved for technology use in classes. It’s not that teachers are trying to spoil students by giving them access to all the latest technology.
It’s because there are huge innovations every day. It may not seem like it when you see a child bent over a screen, but they are learning. Technology isn’t something that’s just going to go away, or stop being used. Having it in the classroom is a good thing, because it means that children and teenagers will be able to use it in a variety of ways, which only enhances their education.
The next time you see a student with technology, don’t assume they’re using it to goof off. They’re using it to engage with the world around them, and learn from it. It may look different from what you’re used to, but the world moves on, and technology is one of the best ways to keep up with it.