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Digital Classroom in the near future?

Will classrooms be digital in the near future?

 During a recent campus congress meeting at John Jay High School, I heard an interesting comment made by a fellow student. This student had been talking to some of the higher administration, and had reported that a goal for the near future is to set up a device driven curriculum rather than one that relies on conventional paper and pen. He included that the system would allow students to bring your own device (iPad, Laptop, etc.) to school, and offer ones to borrow from the district if necessary.

This is an idea I am very keen on. The advantages are numerous. The average 20 lb. backpack would be replaced by a 4.5 lb laptop, literally taking tons of weight off the shoulders of school children and improving their skeletal health.

The curriculum could be accessed from anywhere, making school work efficient and easy to do at any time or from any location. Instead of having to carry textbooks and binders around, a student could whip out an iPad and do their entire evening’s homework online. It would make doing assignments, submitting projects, catching up on missed work, and asking questions to classmates and teachers much easier.

Obviously this plan will take several years to implement and require allocation of funds. First up, though, the district would need to be set up for a large influx of wifi traffic. Beyond that hurdle, I expect we will see the school curriculum change to keep pace with the evolving digital world.

So while this idea won’t be completed overnight, it would be a smart, efficient, and highly student friendly addition to our curriculum.

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Elena October 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Computers in classrooms (and other digital devices) always sound terrific, and can certainly get kids excited. The issue of skeletal health is certainly logical. But while kids with iPads and laptops might choose to access their homework anywhere, they might also choose to access their IMs and video games during instructional time. Despite what seems obvious, research has yet been unable to deliver proof that digital devices improve learning or outcomes. Thus, it makes more sense to spend any available funds on items that the school district needs--like infrastructure improvements, small class sizes (proven to impact outcomes/learning) and other important items such as Spanish instruction in elementary school.
Lisa Buchman October 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I agree with scarce resources money is wisely spent on getting the best teachers in front of kids—and if smaller groups of kids is do-able, ideal. But I think it's a matter of when, not if, kids are carrying tablets around with them to school. Fox Lane middle school is rolling out a pilot program this year, which will be interesting to watch. Thanks for writing Terrence!
Ned Merrill October 21, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Why not? There's no longer any individuality or anything that resembles an authentic human being. This seems like a no brainer. The collective is ripe to accept the mark of the beast. Keep those smart phones handy.

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