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.