Schools Asking Students to Bring Their Own Devices to Class

Interesting article in the NY Times about schools in Central Florida, Houston and Atlanta asking students to bring their own smartphones, tablets, laptops and even video game devices to class.

This new trend is called B.Y.O.T. (bring your own technology).

It certainly does save money for cash-strapped schools. What do you think?

The Atlantic Gives ‘Generation I’ the Cover Treatment

Kudos to The Atlantic on its cover story regarding young children—even toddlers— spending more and more time with digital technology and what it means for their development.
Hanna Rosin does a fantastic job of laying out the conundrum many parents now face – the neurosis of our age, she says, “as technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming more, not less, wary of what it might be doing to their children…On the one hand, parents want their children to swim expertly in the digital stream that they will have to navigate all their lives; on the other hand, they fear that too much digital media, too early, will sink them…To date, no body of research has definitively proved that the iPad will make your preschooler smarter or teach her to speak Chinese, or alternatively that it will rust her neural circuitry—the device has been out for only three years, not much more than the time it takes some academics to find funding and gather research subjects. So what’s a parent to do?”
FYI – within the article, check out the embedded video featuring an interview with Rosin on how children use iPads.

iPad to the Rescue

Great article in Wired that asks the question, “can the iPad rescue a struggling American education system?”

Key takeaway:

“Tablets are reinventing how students access and interact with educational material, and how teachers assess and monitor students’ performance at a time when many schools are understaffed and many classrooms overcrowded. Millions of grade school and university students worldwide are using iPads to visualize difficult concepts, revisit lectures on their own time and augment lessons with videos, interactive widgets and animations.”

Nickelodeon, Fuhu Partner on Tablet for Kids

From the NY Business Journal article:
Nickelodeon and Fuhu have partnered on a tablet computer for children. The $99 device, featuring a 5-inch touchscreen, comes preloaded with educational apps, games and videos based on Nickelodeon franchises such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Bubble Guppies.”

Live and Let Play

Fantastic op-ed in Sunday’s NY Times about using technology for education vs. fun that I highly recommend every parent read.

Here’s my takeaway from the piece:

“Let children play games that are not educational in their free time.  Personally, I’d rather my children played Cookie Doodle or Cut the Rope on my iPhone while waiting for the subway to school than do multiplication tables to a beep-driven soundtrack.  Then, once they’re in the classroom, they can challenge themselves.  Deliberate practice of less-than-exhilarating rote work isn’t necessarily fun but they need to get used to it – and learn to derive from it meaningful reward, a pleasure far greater than the record high score.”