As the new Kindle Fire is released and Apple about to announce the "next big thing" next week in terms of iPhone and probably some other iDevice, it is difficult for so many of us to feel like we can keep up with technology as these roll out.
And as these roll out, the conversation among many of my peers and colleagues is an attempt to figure out which one device is the best device to use with students.
Because technology is about change and in the education circuit, educational technology is about changing education, I fall out of the conversation about which one device is the saving grace for revolutionizing learning.
I don't believe a device, a gadget or one resource will revolutionize education. Real change does not come in the form of piece of hardware. And we are inundated with products all the time that promise to change how we live, work, entertain ourselves and accomplish a multitude of tasks. But we have to force these "revolutionary" products into a system that is not revolutionary.
The state recently changed funding rules in Texas to allow districts to eliminate the word "textbook" from the state funding source and use money to purchase "instructional materials" including technology.
I have to say I am somewhat tempted to tell the state to keep their money and use it to enact real change in education because the devices aren't helping us. The instructional materials aren't changing a flawed system. Sure they make learning more fun and interactive when used with engaging teachers and engaging curriculum. But are computers and devices really changing education?
In 1981, the IBM computer began making its way into Texas schools as the drill and kill system for labs. It's been 30-years of technology in education. 30 years of technology available for students to use in schools. How has the foundation of education changed in 30-years for the better?