Saturday, November 24, 2007

One computer for every student

It seems like a no brainer to me that students definitely would benefit from having a personal computer that they could take home with them. There is no question that today's students will utilize computers in almost any career they pursue. It's vital that they learn to be fluent in every aspect of computer use. (Imagine only allowing students to have access to books while they are at school.) We all know that homework is a necessity for students to master skills. How can we expect them to master computer use if they only have access during school hours?

I think there are two major barriers to implementation of a computer for every student. The first is cost. Having served as a school board member I know first hand the challenges of selling new initiatives to the voters. I happen to live in a school district that has the means to provide students with quality facilities and teachers but we still encounter issues with convincing the grey haired taxpayers that certain services are necessary to prepare students for their future success. It might be that the best avenue is having a district seek a grant for computers. The second barrier is having educators that are not up to speed themselves with technology either because their district cannot provide the technology or they have not been trained sufficiently to feel confident enough to utilize technology in the delivery of curriculum. Today's teachers should be encouraged and suppported to become fluent in utilizing computers in their classrooms. Then, teachers should take every opportunity to utilize Web 2.0 to inform parents, administrators, board members and community members about all the great learning that is happening in their classrooms. I know that a well prepared presentation to a school board and the taxpayers can go a long way to convincing them of the need for availability of a computer for every student.

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