Sitting in a meeting about a plan to implement online textbooks for Social Studies classes in all of our middle and high schools is somewhat depressing.
The discussion is almost entirely centered on extending the traditional teaching model – teacher-directed, one-way information transfer – as we now have with paper books. We’re planning to put all this technology (including allowing students to bring their own) into classrooms so that teachers can continue to assign “read chapter 3 and answer the questions at the end”.
I don’t call that “impact”, a popular term in connection with this project.
However, my optimistic side is also thinking that once everything is in place, it provides a great opportunity for teachers to begin seeing that these devices now in the hands of every kid don’t have to be used just for delivery of content.
Maybe we can help them realize the power of kids as creators and not just consumers.
Probably not what the school board had in mind but…