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Joe Makley
Interests: High School transformation and school culture Helping to get beyond time-in-grade learning systems Distance Learning (especially live global connections and video-conferencing)
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I just wanted to voice support for one-one ratio of devices. Laptops are expensive (especially to keep batteries charged, replaced, etc.) and the netbooks need to mature more, but it's the only answer to the question: "how many computers should a school have?" There's simply no other equitable way to get to where you can assign, collect, provide, share, collaborate or otherwise have students participate in a technology immersed wider world. It's true that we value mostly "any century skills" such as character, work habits, etc., but we do need to incorporate practical, relevant activities to prepare students for the technology immersion of today. It's also important because we need to model strategies for coping with the "information storm," keeping safe on-line, etc. So yes, in spite of the technical headaches and the need for additional support staff (which we must be honest about) it's important for all students to have a computing device, especially at secondary level. Here's one example: let's say I have a class today in journalism. Well, there's a lot I can teach about cogent writing, and it's valuable, but if I don't include something about the blogging phenomenon, the new copyright issues, etc., I am negligent. And... how do I do that if they don't all have computers handy? And how do they put together their publication, which is on-line? And how do they post the material from their beats (which consist of text messages, and cell phone images?) Today, teaching in most subjects just doesn't work well without computers, because, working in most fields doesn't either.
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