I have just finished reading Claire Amos’ eminently sensible article written for the New Zealand Education Review. (You can read the whole thing here.)
It seems to me that she really hits the nail on the head when she poses the following question:
“Interestingly, while I value and see huge potential in both MLEs and (student-owned) Learning Technologies, I am also concerned about them. I am concerned that the development of MLEs and the introduction of Learning Technologies can become a bit of a smoke screen and can actually create an illusion of modernity when little has actually changed. I worry that the introduction of these physically palpable and measurable objects will be seen as making a change for the better, when the one thing that really needs to be ‘introduced’ is still lacking: the teacher’s belief that the student is capable of leading their own learning. How do we ensure that MLEs and Learning Technologies don’t actually create the educational equivalent of ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ with old beliefs and teaching approaches being dressed up in hip and groovy clothing?”
This fits in with the challenge I see for my school as move towards BYOD. It is not about the technology. Ultimately it is about the pedagogy and that is the change we need to spark in our teachers. Bean bags and iPads do not necessarily bring about future-focused learning. And that is a mind shift I still need to wrestle with myself. But boy, it’s fun thinking!