I do like technology and I think it’s important. However, I am a bit behind my kids and partner. For a special birthday this week I did buy my partner an ipad2. He’s going to be stoked. No doubt the rest of the family will get to use it after his initial words that it’s not to be touched by anyone but him!
This got me thinking about the future of technology in education, especially after reading in the news this week about a call for government to look at providing ipads or computers for all school kids in NZ, given the huge investments in super fast broadband.
In the US government there is an Office of Educational Technology which provides leadership for powering education at all levels of learning with technology. Many Universities and schools in the US provide ipads or laptops for all students. China is investing in technology to educate, but children still have to take a three day test for entry into college with pencil and paper! We do need to be making access to computers a reality. A recent article in Computing magazine outlines the great benefit kids get in the developing world when donated computers and the author states:
Without the ability to use ICT, students do not have the mandatory skills needed to pursue further education, and go on to gain employment in an office environment. With ICT skills, they can, and this enables them to support themselves and their families, and helps them to work their way out of poverty.
Actually this is the same in New Zealand. So, are we on the way to being ahead of the game in terms of technology in the class room? The first fibre cable for Ultra fast broadband was laid today. Schools, hospitals and businesses are first in line to be hooked up to the fibre cables, which will provide internet speeds of 100 megabits per second. All businesses, schools and hospitals should have fast broadband by 2015, while urban homes will have to wait another four years. What do you think could be done to provide more computers, ipads or laptops in schools and Universities?