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Print 52 comment(s) - last by themaster08.. on Apr 17 at 4:40 AM


  (Source: iPads House)
Brings whole new meaning to the phrase "early adopters"

How young is too young to begin embracing personal computing technology? Are gadgets like smartphones and tablets valid educational tools? Are they worth the cost?

Those questions speak to the heart of a USA Today article, which reports that almost 300 kindergarten students in Auburn, Maine, will be receiving Apple iPad2's next fall along with their chocolate milk and crayons. 

"It’s definitely an adventure, and it’ll be a journey of learning for teachers and students," Auburn kindergarten teacher Amy Heimerl told USA Today.

But not everyone is thrilled about the proposition of spending $200,000 -- the cost Superintendent Tom Morrill plans to incur -- on the high-tech gadgets. "I understand you have to keep up with technology, but I think a 5-year old is a little too young to understand," Auburn mother Sue Millard says in the report.

The superintendent disagreed. "It’s a revolution in education," Morrill said, citing the iPad's hundreds of educational applications and simple-to-use touchscreen. 

Maine has been ahead of the curve when it comes to personal technology in the classroom. It was the first state to distribute laptops (Apple iMacs) to all seventh and eighth graders nearly 10 years ago. The former Maine governor who launched that initiative, Angus King, believes in the iPad program. "If your students are engaged, you can teach them anything," King says in the report. "If they’re bored and looking out the window, you can be Socrates and you’re not going to teach them anything. These devices are engaging."

But Maine is not the first state to give its tots tablets, either. "Schools in Omaha, Neb.; Columbiana, Ohio; Huntington, W. Va.; Paducah, Ky.; Charleston, S.C.; and Scottsdale, Ariz., are among the places where kindergarten pupils are using them," USA Today reports.

"We can’t say whether what the school district in Maine or anywhere else is doing is good or not good," Peter Pizzolongo of the National Association for the Education of Young Children told USA Today, "but what we can say is when the iPad or any other technological tool is used appropriately, then it’s a good thing for children’s learning."

Superintendent Morrill said that most of the criticism of the iPad plan has been of the plan's cost, not about the age-appropriateness. He plans to raise the money "from foundations, the federal government, the local school department, and other sources."

If nothing else, the development is one step closer to Bill Gates' vision of education in the future.



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RE: meh
By Tony Swash on 4/15/2011 1:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not everyone wants to live in apple's utopia of mediocrity. They are doing this not just with technology but also music, film making, photography, design, etc.
Look at what they are essentially saying... No need to learn how to play an instrument! With garage band any idiot can pretend to be a musician! We'll even teach you how to play a couple of songs so you can impress your friends. And who needs to waste time learning about editing? With imovie you too can insert "professional" transitions into your home movies. And we'll even provide you with a million templates so that you can put out a polished result and pretend you did something creative.

What ever happened to doing things not because they are easy but because they are hard? For striving to achieve something great, not be like everybody else?

I'm told that in the old USSR there was this joke: One professional musician says to another "you know, under communism, everyone will be able to write a song!" and the other replies "Sure, but would anyone want to listen to it?"


I don't think anyone is suggesting that effort and commitment should be removed from learning but effort and commitment is not the same as forcing people to learn using inadequate, poorly designed or just plain old fashioned tools. Nobody says 'using a word processor makes kids lazy they should be forced to use a typewriter'.

The fact of the matter is that unless one is studying information technology itself nobody should have to devote a second of thought to using information technology in order to do something useful. The only reason that has been necessary in the past was because the old technology (i.e PCs) were primitive and required people to worry about all sorts of stuff that they don't have to when the technology evolves (like where files are kept).

People don't have to know how a pen works or is manufactured in order to write something interesting. Pens were once new technology and required a bit of understanding and maintenance - now they don't. That's progress.

This videos captures some of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pyjRj3UMRM


RE: meh
By themaster08 on 4/17/2011 4:40:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact of the matter is that unless one is studying information technology itself nobody should have to devote a second of thought to using information technology in order to do something useful.
How is one supposed to gain an interest in a subject they are not exposed to?

Computers have become necessities in many peoples' work and personal lives. No matter how simplified they are or become, there will always be difficulties and dangers.

Namely from the internet. That is where most computing issues occur. The internet will always be a dangerous place.

Malware creators, hackers will always find a way to dupe those that are ill informed. They will adapt to the computing climate and find new ways of making using a computer on the internet a dangerous prospect.

Common sense plays a huge part in safe internet usage and good practice. Of course one should not be forced to learn a subject they have little interest in, but that same subject will more than likely be a significant part of their lives, whether that's social networking, online shopping, business communications, and therefore could save a person many troubles along the way.

Comparing a complicated mathematical machine to something as simple as a pen is a poor comparison. Cars have become simplified to use over the years, however you must have a driving license to drive, thus learned how to. You may not have wanted to learn, however it is for the safety of others and yourself that you are required to do so. You are not required to learn any mechanical or technical details about how the car works internally, but you know how to use the machine properly and safely. How is that any different than being educated about how to use a computer, and the internet so that you are knowledgeable and safe?


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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