Friday, 4 October 2013

You can touch it, but you can´t master it! Or ... Why everybody thinks the dog ate the Los Angeles school officials’ homework?

Deciding on the format of 1:1 programs is no easy task, and I bet that the Los Angeles County Unified School District has gotten the drift, the hard way.

If you don´t know what Los Angeles has got to do with this post, I´ll try to clear things in 140 characters, or less: after having iPads hacked by students, the Los Angeles County Unified School District decided to take the devices back.

If you would like to read a bit more about it, you can click here.

Now, back to this post…
How do you ensure the success of your deployment? How can you build a self-sustaining ecology in your school in order to keep things running smoothly?
The idea of this post is to address a few questions that might have been overlooked by the LAUSD.

b>1.Who is your end-user and how much thought has been put into it?

It is not enough to hand out iPads when you haven't designed an experience for your students. Using mobile devices in education is much more than providing devices, it is an experience that can open many doors to research, tinkering, questioning, discovery and creativity. And just like any other learning experience, it must follow a process.

2.Work on the positive concept of Hacking!

Again, it´s all about the end-user. Teachers and students-must understand that that energy put into discovering fissures in the system could be put to good use and solve crisis within the community.

3.Happiness and Meaningful use

A simple Poll can help you understand what the devices mean to the community and how they can be put to ideal use.<

I could go on forever ...but I will end my post by listing other points that need more attention: digital literacy, relevance of the project outside school grounds, teamwork (parents, teachers, students and community), ideation, crisis solving strategies, trust, and last but not least...understanding that knowledge does not reside in gadgets or in teachers.

As for the Los Angeles County Unified School District, this is an excellent moment to put into practice everything we say about teaching resilience in schools. A real leader (be it a person or UD) must be able to take a step back, learn from their mistakes and take positive actions after going over all the possible overseen issues.
Learning and teaching should be democratic moments of exchange and it is my perception that L.A iPads, with extreme setting restrictions and all the activities that were too guided, became a painful reminder that some people still think that students are meant to be seen, not heard.

So…what would you have done differently?

1 comment:

  1. Give them freedom, but don't let them use it. Contradictory but true. There are so many isssues to consider here that the LAUSD officials may have overlooked,