I wrote about the flaws in our education system before and here I am writing about them again. There was an article I came across in the NYT talking about the iPad as the new “learning tool.” The iPad this, the iPad that, the iPad is this generation’s overhead projector. Make no mistake, the iPad is the greatest thing that has hit education since sliced bread.
Before I start bashing the idiot administrators at the NYC, Chicago, and Virginia Public schools, I would like to say this:
If there is objective, empirical evidence that the impact on learning more than justifies the substantial cost of these iPads, then that is one thing. It is completely different when penny-pinching, budget-strapped schools are laying off teachers (or excessing them) and yet they find millions of dollars to spend on an iPad. According to the article, NYC public schools have allocated $1.3mm for iPads. That is shameful.
I completely understand and agree that this generation of students is different than generations past. This current generation demands instant gratification. Text messaging, Twitter, Facebook status updates, all satisfy students’ demands because they happen instantly, or quickly than that. Lectures, textbooks, and archaic teachers fail miserably.
So am I saying that iPads will always be a dumb investment ? Of course not, but given the hard economic times especially of states and schools, how could they ever justify spending the equivalent of several teacher’s salaries on a gadget that has not yet been proven to work?