We’ve learned over the past few years that separating our learning and thinking into silos is not an effective way to problem solve and push the limits of real learning.
Real world problems are multi disciplinary, crossing the boundaries of many people, their expertise, places and time. We need a variety of people, with different skill sets to pull together as collaborative teams in order to deeply understand and think about real world issues.
Knowing that I wonder what’s up with the popularity of Ipads and apps in classrooms?
Most apps, generally speaking, are focussed on a single task. Multiplication tables. Continents and countries. A single game. Most of these apps allow the user to focus on a single task or skill. They don’t generally reach for higher order thinking such as synthesis and evaluation. Of course there are exceptions. Calendar apps that allow people to work together. Evernote allowing us to collect information about topics and share that with other people. But overall, I don’t think it would take an indepth evaluation to see how most apps are structured.
This has left me wondering lately if the Ipad the “ultimate” NCLB machine? Is it proving to be so popular in classrooms and districts not because it is the best device for learning, but because it is the best device for focussing on small, discrete skills that are in turn the focus of standardized tests?
Are these locked down, easy to manage devices the best, easy to use computing device, or are they simply the best device for promoting a certain kind of learning at the expense of a much more open possibility?