The Same Mistakes

We were here with netbooks and now we are here again, this time with Chromebooks. Via Daring Fireball we get this report from CNET News about 27,000 Chromebooks going out to some school districts. Here is the quote John Gruber (of Daring Fireball) pulls:

“Students love the tablet. I am not going to hide that from you. They will bow down and kiss your feet,” said Diane Gilbert, an English teacher at Kelly Mill Middle School in Blythewood, S.C., who’s taught with tablets in her classroom. She said that Chromebooks, though, are better when it comes to typing and to letting students publish their work the way she wants it done.

Once again, teacher-directed, teacher-centric technology choices which ignore not just what the students want to use …

… but probably what they would.

2 replies on “The Same Mistakes”

I’m conflicted on this one because it works both ways. Students are customers but it IS the educators’ responsibility to curate the experience so that it works best with the style of the educator. The integrations Chrome OS has with the Google ecosphere make it a fantastic option for education and the price is right.

That being said, tablets offer a much more interesting set of possibilities because of the form factor. That and the gee-wiz factor ensures that students will use the heck out of them. Simplicity and usefulness should not be discounted.

If this were an employer or an IT department saying “this is the way I want it done” I’d be more likely to throw the barbs. In ed tech I think it depends more on perspective and effectiveness of the method.

There is a lot I agree with, and you bring up good points (as always), but I can’t get behind the idea that you need to curate an experience that works best with the style of the educator.

Just no.

While each teacher will have a style, I really think it is the teacher’s responsibility to mold their style to that of the student’s needs. That student’s … singular. While a “pie in the sky” ideal, the focus has to be the student. Always.

I’d throw more barbs if the quote was from someone outside of a classroom, but we’ve been here before. Optimizing for teacher ease and comfort is putting the focus in the wrong area. We should be optimizing for students.

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