My Four Pillars: A Philosophy of Higher Education, Part 1

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I’ve been filling out teaching/education-related job application and I was met with this little gem:

  • Please provide a concise statement of your philosophy of higher education. (Minimum: 300 words)

The gift of sharing knowledge and experiences has been one of the greatest keys to human survival and success for millennia. From parent to child, from scholar to neophyte, from craftsman to apprentice, what began in the household became the shared responsibility of the local community. But in this Age of the Internet, where all of human understanding is but a Google-search away, a precise understanding of the role and/or function of formal education is less well defined and therefore under siege.

Having taught in a wide variety of educational institutions for almost twenty-years and participated in my own educational process for the whole of my own life, I recognize the complexity of trying to encapsulate a working philosophy of education and particularly higher education. Based on my experiences working with second-language elementary and middle school learners in low SES communities in combination with the last 14-years working as an online student and then educator has afforded me an understanding of what is needed to address the learning needs of today’s students. I believe that the process can be distilled into four essential categories:

  1. Curriculum
  2. Teaching Staff
  3. Learning Environment
  4. Learning Community/Cadre

Whether we’re talking about a traditional face-to-face third-grade classroom in urban South-Central Los Angeles or a fully online doctoral program being run by a prestigious university in the Midwest, the quality of the program or learning experience will be based on the strength of all four elements.

belltowerOne can learn a lot about an institution’s or individual’s philosophy of education based on the which of the four elements is either given priority or is the sole focus of the program. It’s been my observation that many traditional institutions tend put the biggest emphasis on the quality of the curriculum, protecting that content as if it were their exclusive domain. Thus the belief is essentially that the educational process is data transferal from one generation to the next. In this model getting an education is having access to this curriculum and the business model is that one must pay tuition to have access to this curriculum. If the institution is aware of the competitive market it must work within, then the quality of the teaching staff and bucolic setting of its campus will also be promoted. But at its core it’s about the curriculum. Online education, of course, complicates things, but for many, the bucolic campus is simply replaced with a user-friendly website, period. A good website, like a comfortable campus for face-to-face students, is important. But just having a good learning environment is not enough.

As a face-to-face classroom instructor for the first 13-years of my teaching career, I understood the importance of working with the classroom dynamic and using it to the benefit of the learning process. Thus, I naturally tended to break the classroom down into small heterogeneous working groups, making sure that there was at least one strong-willed female per group, one high-achiever, and mixed learning styles spread amongst the groups. It was simply more efficient for me to work with students as groups and then let them delegate the learning task. The assignment may have been turned in individually, but the learning task was done as a group. It wasn’t that all of my students were limited in the attention I made available to them but that management was more delegated and there was a sense that “we” were working toward a common learning goal. Working with Latino students, I saw this as a strength and means to manage the room by working with them as groups. But I did this to make my job easier, not really realizing that I was empowering my students’ learning experiences by not only permitting them to work together, but by requiring it.

learning-and-forgettingWhen I began my online learning experience at Pepperdine University in 2001 I was introduced to the work of Dr. Etienne Wenger, who popularized the idea of Communities of Practice and Dr. Frank Smith, whose The Book of Learning and Forgetting, discussed the sociological component of education and learning. The stereotype of online learning tends to be of some kind of isolated impersonal correspondence learning that isn’t even the least bit as dynamic or life-changing as face-to-face on-campus learning. How can it be, if one never sees another human face, except for pre-recorded video-lectures shot from across a huge hall, and any interaction is via email messages with 24-hour or more lags between message and response? But Pepperdine did something different and required all students to participate in a week-long tech-camp the July before beginning our programs so that we would become familiar with each other’s personality and begin to form working relationships and friendships with our classmates. Then when we went back to our homes spread out across the world and began our class sessions we could fill in the personalities behind the text-based communication. But we did more than just fill in the personality-gaps in our Internet-based communication. After all we were a group of 25 who were studying and using educational technology, so we fully employed the technologies, such as Instant Message and discussion groups to break the Class Session/Study/Project/Class Session cycle, and formed our own small groups to work together and to interact with whenever we wanted. Compared to my large-lecture-hall-solo-learning experiences that I tended to have when I studied for my teaching credential in the mid-1990s, my online learning experiences were personal, and powerful and changed what I believed could be accomplished in education.

Our First Online Session - Together - Back Row Club - 2001

Our First Online Session – Together – Back Row Club – 2001

Dr. Frank Smith raised concerns that the increased use of technology in education was a step in the wrong direction, making the learning process even more impersonal, isolated and one-size-fits-all (The Book of Learning and Forgetting, p.73). Given how many institutions have implemented online learning as a webpage and recorded lectures I can see how this fear is justified. However, my experiences with Pepperdine and the last six-years teaching online have proven to me that it isn’t technology that one should fear, but decision-makers who believe that education can be a pre-packaged product. The difficulties being faced by institutions turning to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) lends itself to the problems of thinking that education is simple access to good curriculum. As an online student and online educator I know that without harnessing the power of a small group of individuals working towards a common goal one does not have a healthy educational process. Determining how to support this process, that includes all four categories, will be the challenge facing all educational institutions and especially higher education where much of the research behind the curriculum is available online without the “benefit” of a college degree program.

The following is a list of articles I’ve written about online education and my experiences as a student and teacher using online ed:

The Next Chapter

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Over the past couple weeks I haven’t posted all that much, except for tweets from my daily walks, because I’ve been quite busy pulling together resources to create my new, much needed, resume page/website. It took more than a few days to get over the initial shock of becoming just another government statistic. I love how life can change courses so quickly, but, Jesus, this one came out of nowhere. Anyway, having spent the past six-years creating online content, it made sense that I had to do something more meaningful than a traditional paper resume overwhelmed by bullet-points and text that no one will ever read. But how does one communicate a lifetime of learning and almost 20-years of teaching everything from shy kindergarteners how to use a computer mouse to second-career fifty-something masters students how to teach online? Also the resume website had to be visual with consistent easy-to-understand navigation, and tell my story with as few clicks as possible. Oh and I need it to be out there now, so that I can get a job. No pressure.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. It’s a work in progress. I’ve already figured out a number of revisions I want to make, but right now the priority is getting the info out there. Also, I need to come up with a cover letter… etc., etc., etc. Interesting coincidence, I took my “early out” after 15-years with the phone company on October 31st, 1994. Twenty-years later, minus one-day, history repeated itself. Onward and upward, I used to tell my students. I guess it’s my turn to live up to those words and explore what the next chapter in my life will entail. Happy Thanksgiving everyone… really.

Here’s the link to my resume webpage. Feel free to share it: http://joebustillos.info

Mentoring and Learning the Wrong Lessons

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From my Masters studies at Pepperdine University, comes this tidbit of my own mentor-deficient journey. Spring. 2002

I can’t believe how my brother betrayed me. There he was, just rambling on, completely oblivious to the betrayal. I can’t believe he’d forgotten the vows we’d made during those numberless sweaty Saturdays out in the backyard under the heartless afternoon sun as our father rained down on us tree branches to be cut and dissatisfaction at our efforts.

I thought that it was understood that once we’d successfully escaped our father’s unsatisfiable tutelage that we’d never ever again spend another day toiling under the sun, pruning trees, or doing anything beyond the minimum necessary to keep the lawn from over-growing and swallowing up the patio furniture. But there he was proudly displaying his garden and the huge ears of corn he was expecting in a few weeks. Damn. I guess new homeownership does that to a person.

Okay, so not everyone takes the vows of teenage-boys seriously (brother!), and it wasn’t exactly the “Grapes of Wrath.” But it was negative enough to leave the above “not-so-fond” memory. Let’s just say, when I began to read our mentoring text by Gordon Shea and recalled the nurturing/supportive characteristics we all agreed a mentor should have, my father silently slipped off the list . . . at first.

Based on Shea’s list of twenty characteristics about “What Mentors Do” (p.14) my father exhibited eight of the twenty characteristics (usually having to do with doing the job right, and his quotable quote was, “Can’t you guys do anything right?!” so I wasn’t sure whether I should count that one). Of the twenty-two characteristics that we cooked up at our Colorado conference, his numbers dropped to just two. Actually, this whole business of going back and mining my memory for mentoring moments and/or relationships was getting pretty depressing for me. As I worked my way through my list there was an obvious pattern of learning from a distance so as not to get too close to whichever leader (and suffer from his/her potential wrath). It’s pretty clear where that pattern came from.

It was many years later in the middle of one of my child-development classes, when we were discussing the Characteristics of Play, that it suddenly dawned on me that my father’s endless weekends of yard work was his form of leisure. It was his form of play. Of course, none of this had made sense to my brother and I as kids because this was anything but fun to us. But to my father the “work” meant a great deal to him and having us there to “share” it with him also meant a great deal (even though we were anything but receptive to any message at the time). And even odder still was that he worked in landscaping and spent his whole week doing pretty much the same things for a living. The only difference, on the surface, between his work-a-day world and what he did on the weekends he was working on his yard with his boys. But at the time we never saw it.

In one of last term’s readings, Frank Smith made it clear that learning happens whether we want it to or not, more from the people we’re around than from the words of teachers.

“We learn from the people around us with whom we identify. We can’t help learning from them, and we learn without knowing that we are learning.” Frank Smith

So when I look at the person I’ve become and look at the long hours that I put in and the high expectation that I have for myself and the work that I do, I now know where those values came from. Those were values that were important to him, values that saw him through the early years of his own life when he didn’t have a father to lead him. And just as he never looked at the difficulties of his own upbringing for an apology for not having had a “perfect childhood,” I don’t expect or want an apology from him for the often vitriolic relationship that we had as father and son. I understand that he was just being a man, a man true to his core values and those values didn’t always translate well to squirrely seven- and ten-year-old boys.

17. 1970s - dad up a ladder on balcony above garage.

17. 1970s – dad up a ladder on balcony above garage.

Dear ol’ dad, whatever his conscious intentions may have been (prune trees, cut branches down small enough to fit into trash cans), he taught my brother and I a great deal more than the “joys” of working with small hand tools on mountains of orange and olive tree branches. I love him for instilling those values in me. But I’m still not going to pick up any pruning shears anytime soon. I’ll leave that to my silly younger brother. JBB

Resources:

6 Levels Towards Virtual Worlds

I’ve been thinking about the decades old promises of virtual reality and how my graduate students have responded to their first experiences with Second Life and thought that an info-graphic break down of virtual reality might help us approach the subject with less anxiety or frustration. It really comes down to thinking of the ol’ “right tool for the right job” mindset. BTW, this infographic/presentation was created with Piktochart. I’ll have a link to tool & presentation at the end of this post. Enjoy.
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Pressure(s)

It's the first week of a new school term and this month, besides my regular group of month three students, I have a large group of month one students who are really beginning to feel the pressures of what a year-long online masters program may entail. This is especially true after last night's first assignment deadline and several worried that they didn't post their work in time. So this morning, after writing a note to one concerned student I posted the following message to all of them:

… It's tough getting info on Tuesday on stuff due on Wednesday. It'll get better. The first week tends to be a real shock to the system because you don't get access to the class until Monday and then things are almost immediately due. This month really is part of the ongoing boot-camp of the program, to get you used to the pace and toughen you up to develop your strategy toward success.

Because we're just starting out, I'm not strict as far as the Wednesday posts specifically because it's so much so soon. But given the pace, one is expected to be into it by Sunday and then firing on all cylinders by the beginning of next week.

The workload is set to be around 30-hours a week. So it's important to figure out how you are going to do that and do everything else on your plate. We know that y'all have full-time jobs and most have a lot of responsibilities at home. So, whatever side-projects or hobbies one has been contemplating or dabbling in, unless it directly ties to your program (like someone doing some audio recording at home – for a Recording Arts major), you'll need to put it on hold until you are through the program. And this is the month to figure out either how to do this, or whether one really can.

I'm not saying that this is your case, but many come to online learning and think that it's going to be easier than face-to-face and the truth is that only thing that really is easier is that one doesn't have to go through the hassle of relocating to be physically near the school. But it's still an additional full-time gig, like it would be if you were doing this face-to-face. I like to think that we take advantage of the fact that we're online. So instead of letting work pile up and wait until the day before the class session or the day before it's due, we spread it out so that you are thinking about the assignments throughout the week and see how you might be able to integrate your studies with what you do on the job. It doesn't have to be anything official where you have to get approval all over the place. Just look at whatever you're studying at the time and see how it relates to the job and how your work or life experiences can either add to or differs from the things you're studying or working on.

Also, if you have a smartphone or have Internet access during the day, add your classmates' and my contact info to your IM/Skype/chat clients and whenever you see one of us online, whether you have a question or not, just say “Hi.” The enemy to academic success is isolation and unlike traditional ed, where you always work alone and then stare at the back of someone's head in a lecture hall once or twice a week for three-hours, we have access to one another virtually around the clock. When I worked on my masters and doctorate online with Pepperdine I developed friendships and relationships that are still active and dear to me, even though more than a decade has past since I was in the (virtual) trenches with my mates. And my online associations actually led to me moving clear across the country and getting the job here in Florida. So, reach out and let's do education the right way, together online.

Hang in there, I know you'll do great and I know we're going to have a great month. Be well, jbb

Joe Bustillos | Course Director | Emergent Tech In A Collaborative Culture – IDT

 

Safe Harbor or What’s Next?

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“… I look in the mirror every morning and ask myself, If today were the last day of my life, would I do what I’m about to do today? And whenever the answer has been ’no’ for too many days in a row I know I need to change something… Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart.” Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Commencement speech

I have co-workers who’ve exhibited a common attitude among the teachers I’ve worked with before: a desire to find a cushy spot where one can work as long as one can without having to break too much of a sweat. Something that those not involved in the teaching profession might not know, teaching really is a hard profession that wears everyone out over a very short time. In fact, I met someone last night who was an elementary education major and after her teacher-training/mentoring experience decided to not become a teacher. Talk about scaring someone out of a profession before they even get started. So, it is understandable that the goal of many educators is to find “safe harbor” as soon as possible in order to make it all the way to retirement.

The enemy is burn-out. Pushing so hard against the negative will of students, of coworkers, of administrators day after day, year after year wears on anyone who chooses education as their profession. An alternative strategy from safe-harbor to combat burn-out is to go from project to project and never stay in one place for too long. I had a boss at the phone company tell me that he’d learned that he should go from position to position after about 18-months in any one job. He said that whatever you need to learn and whatever you need to do should be taken care of in that stretch of time and that anything beyond that usually leads to problems with either burn-out or complacency. It seemed pretty logical but when I started teaching almost all the teachers I worked with had been in their current position for a lot of years, even decades. It seemed like most teachers in the public system tended to go with the safe-harbor strategy.

I didn’t plan it this way, but I seem to average about three-years before switching positions. Three-years into teaching 6th grade I switched to creating a video-journalism program for three years. Then I switched schools and districts and ran an elementary school computer lab for four years, ending my public career with three-years teaching media/computers/journalism at the middle school level. The surprise is that my current position teaching at Full Sail for five-years is the longest I’ve been at any one teaching job. This isn’t to say that having a safe-harbor mindset is even possible with the current position. There is a need to innovate and stay on top of the technology and teaching trends without summer breaks or really any breaks between terms. The only constant seems to be change and you have to be okay with that if you’re going to survive at all in this job.

Someone asked me what I was going to do next, when I commented about the most recent changes to the program and my growing sense of having less actual say in my own course. I wasn’t quite ready for the question. I mean, five-years ago I didn’t really plan to leave California and the public ed safety net but I managed to land on my feet when I saw what Full Sail was putting together in online education. I guess the point is to stay open to the possibilities and keep my eyes open to whatever may cross my path and keep testing myself day after day about whether I’m continuing my mission or looking for safe harbor.

resources:
image: Recording Graphics by Lloyd Dangle at USC Creativity & Collaboration Some rights reserved by Norman Lear Center – http://www.flickr.com/photos/83665349@N00/5261562914/

Wanting Email Everywhere & Other First World Traumas

Remember when an email account was something you got from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and you’d have to update all your friends when you changed ISPs? Then that kind of went away when Apple started to give away free email accounts then Yahoo! then Gmail. And it started to look like it became a game of making sure that you got on these free accounts early enough to get your email address of choice on all the services. Then the collection continued to grow with the work Exchange account, then the school account… I don’t exactly know when it began but at some point my job looked like it was based on clearing out all of my various email inboxes. At last count I seem to have eight active e-mail account to deal with. For those with some tech-chops wrangling all of these accounts isn’t that much of a big deal because most of the services have a way for the email to be forwarded to one account or one could use an email app where all of the email would appear in one unified inbox. The joys of modern work life… of course there are those services that don’t always play with others. I mean, I work fully online with my students but the account that they send their queries to me is set up to only work when I’m logged in behind the firewall (e.g., in the office) and only if I’m using Entourage or Outlook as my email apps. Oh yeah, there is a web-version that I can use, but one thing we learned a long time ago is that tech should be setup to come to us and not be something that we need to manually go visit to see if anything has changed (although FaceBook seems to be turning that behavior back to the early manual check-in version).

I recognize that my email needs aren’t too typical, but such is the life of one who makes a living on technology. So, at some point I discovered that my Exchange account can be accessed outside the firewall on my iOS devices default email app. Weird, but I’m not going to complain. The complication is that recent tech hick-ups inspired me to rethink how I was using my many email accounts and I decided that I was going to primarily use my two gmail accounts, one for work and one everywhere else. Part of the decision was based on the desire to use the gmail labeling system of organizing my work correspondence because I was finding that email often comes in linked to multiple concerns and dumping it into a single folder for storage wasn’t getting it done. The problem is that the gmail labeling doesn’t play well with iOS Mail. So I’ve spent the past week looking for iOS and Mac OS email clients that can get the job done without complicating things. Silly me.

  • Gmail.app: Obviously this iOS app does the gmail labeling thing, but it doesn’t have a unified inbox and I cannot seem to be able to move email from one gmail account to another (without forwarding it) and it doesn’t do any other non-gmail kind of account.
  • Mailbox.app: Like many iOS email apps, this one is most interested in email triage: determine whether to answer the email immediately or reset to revisit the message at a later time or drop it into the archive, no labeling and no moving to specific folders and no Exchange support. Not going to fly.
  • Hop.app formerly known as “Ping,” is still going through it’s private beta phase, but it looks like it’s set up like Mailbox.app with a kind of IM/message model, but I won’t know until it’s available to the public.
  • Sparrow.app: I was a big fan of the iOS app but no iPad version was released before the company was swallowed up by Google and I’m guessing that future development has shifted to the official Gmail.app. In it’s current state when I try to set it up on my iPad it stays in Portrait mode but the virtual keyboard pops up in Landscape mode blocking the screen and making it impossible to input the set-up details. Fail.
  • Cannonball.app has an interesting mix of Pinterest card view on the right side and list view on the left side with the more urgent email automatically selected to stay in the left side list view. It’s a different triage model, but there’s still no way to label or select folders to store the messages and one is left to dump everything in the Archive folder. Outlook.com support but no Exchange support. Damn.
  • Boxer.app seems to be the most powerful of the iOS apps and the only one that I paid for ($5.99). It allows for the use of gmail labels or IMAP folders but one needs to choose in the preferences which one to use, eliminating the on-the-fly selection of using both labels and folders. Alas, when I tried to use folders to move content from the inbox the app crashed. Also I couldn’t find a way to move email from one account to another. And while it seemed to support Gmail, IMAP and Exchange accounts it didn’t work with my work exchange information. Ack.
  • Mail.app: The default iOS email app pretty much gets the job done, including being the only app, iOS or Mac OS, that works with my work Exchange account anywhere… at least for the moment. But it doesn’t do Gmail labels. Damn. It looks like after all of this work I’m back to square one.

On the Mac OS side I’ve been experimenting with Airmail.app. It does Gmail labels and folders and IMAP accounts and Exchange accounts, except that it won’t do my “special” work Exchange account. Ugh. I’ve already put in too much time and energy into this. I have been professionally troubleshooting technology since 1979, I’ve been doing some form of email since the Compu-Serve days in the early 1990s and I have master’s degree in educational technology. But, at the moment, I cannot seem to find a solution that doesn’t feel like a work-around kludge. I have some powerful tech at my disposal but every one of them is missing one or more elements or requires access that I do not have. Sigh. Tech is hard.

Resources:
– Gmail iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/gmail/id422689480#
– Mailbox iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mailbox/id576502633?mt=8#
– Hop iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hop-your-email.-reimagined./id707452888?mt=8
– Sparrow iOS app: http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/20/google-acquires-iosmac-email-client-sparrow/
– Cannonball iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/cannonball-email/id701582906#
– Boxer iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/boxer-for-gmail-outlook-exchange/id561712083#
– Airmail Mac OS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airmail/id573171375?mt=12#

All Learning and the No-Sayers

Little Pencils - museum members byJason Eppink

One student wrote about his leadership role model and sitting through meetings where all anyone can say is that “we don’t have the resources.” Here were my thoughts on the post:

You have to wonder what the “no-sayers” would say if they were told that they don’t have a choice but have to find a way to do it. Period. The point of view of the classroom instructor, especially one connected to the needs of his/her students, doesn’t begin with what “can’t be done.” You look for a way to meet the students’ needs, to bring them into the experience of learning and THEN you think about how you can do it. You start with the needs, then develop an idea or plan then work through whatever you might use to get it done. You can’t begin by wondering if it can be done, how would you know that without trying? Ack. The other thing about someone like Steve Jobs is that you don’t listen to conventional wisdom and recognize that you are going to fail more than a few times before you realize your vision. If all you’re going to do is play is safe than you haven’t gotten anywhere close to what is otherwise possible. In reality all learning is a process of failing forward.

Resources:

image: Little Pencils – museum members by Jason EppinkCreative Commons – Attribution Some rights reserved

Real Computers Versus Toys, Part 2

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I can understand how some might feel that devices like iPads and tablets aren’t real computers, especially those who’ve never really used an iPad or those who think a real computer has to have a keyboard, mouse and USB port. Anything less are just toys, expensive toys, but still toys. Like I mentioned before, I don’t encounter this sentiment that too often, mostly because I normally find that the long-suffering classroom teachers I’ve worked with are used to taking whatever they can get and making the best of it. This bunch would gladly “put up with” a classroom full of iPads.

When I first started teaching I populated my classroom with two PCs that I’d thrown together from parts left over from my latest computer upgrades. With the lone Mac in our non-networked classroom (this was before the Internet had reached our outpost elementary school in Cerritos, California), I set the computers up as stations for student to use in pairs for their language arts and social studies assignments. Basically I used what I had or could cobble together and the addition of the two vintage PCs meant that my students got to be on computers more than just once a week. There was a teacher in another district who populated his classroom full of Apple ][cs that he bought very cheaply or retrieved from school that were going to throw them out. On his own, without school money, he was able to populate his classroom with one computer for each student, long before any one-to-one program existed. Part of being a classroom teacher is working miracles with very little or out of your own pocket, usually both. Ha, we’re used to working with “technology” that’s missing things like working keyboards or mice. Bring it on!

We’re used to working with less than ideal situations. But that’s no excuse for decision makers to underfund us or make purchasing decisions purely on the basis of how much they think they can get for how little and expecting our resourcefulness will make it work. An outspoken hater of iPads-in-the-classroom, Dr. Garry Stager, feels that the technology is too crippled to be truly useful and that decision makers are only thinking of dollars and cents and not the educational value of how technology should be used in the classroom. Granted, we’re still in this asinine numbers-driven/testing mindset, so the value of technology in the classroom from the point of view of district people tends be focused on managing the testing regime and not on learning or Dr. Stager’s beloved (and politically exiled) Constructivism. Screw all that we learned in the late-70s and 80s about useful learning models in the classroom. Hell, because of the scripted test-prep curriculum, we don’t even have time for the wasteful drill-and-kill tech-model, it’s all about training for the test. So, iPads for everyone, my friends, just make sure they’re properly locked down (LAUSD!).

In the end, this version of “real computers versus toys” isn’t about technology but about how little we regard the teaching profession and that, as much as we say we believe in education, we’re not willing to properly fund it. When my district stripped out a huge chunk of our Magnet grant funding, we were able to make it work anyway because something called the”iMac” had just been introduced and cut the expense of buying computers in half. Given any kind of say in the process and we’ll make it work. But it’s shameful that we’re forced to do so because decision-makers have forgotten that this enterprise of learning is more valuable to our culture and society than all other civic responsibilities combined. Fail at this and forget about your healthy economy or tax-base or middle-class, etc. If bringing iPads into the classroom is based on the usefulness of the tools for learning, than go for it. If it’s another workaround more underfunding than shame on you decision-makers and disinterested community for not giving teachers and students the proper tools to get the job done.

Resources:

  • image: 2011-04-14 FaceTime Everywhere by Joe Bustillos, http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebustillos/6035006175/, retrieved 10/23/2013.
  • Point/Counterpoint: Should Students Use Their Own Devices in the Classroom? By Jen LaMaster and Gary S. Stager (posted Aug 7, 2012, 16:36 PM), retrieved 10/23/2013.
  • L.A. Unified’s iPad rollout marred by chaos: Confusion reigns as L.A. Unified deals with glitches after rollout of ambitious an-iPad-for-every-student project, By Howard Blume and Stephen Ceasar (posted October 01, 2013), retrieved 10/23/2013.
  • youtube video: Seymour Papert 1983, posted by Cynthia Solomon (posted May 25, 2007), retrieved 10/23/2013.