Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cognitive Flexibility, and Devices in 1:1 Environments

This week I visited a new 1:1 integration at a local school site with some of my colleagues. The site chose a "convertible" laptop that claims to be a laptop AND a tablet. It really isn't, it is more like a laptop with a touch screen but that is not the point I would like to make here.

In the course of discussion about the use of the devices I pointed out that some of the advantages of the laptop, stability and a keyboard, are also its limitations that truely limit mobility.

Justin then raised the idea of having a diversty of devices in the classroom. To be honest I have been so fixated on the idea of 1:1 with the same device that I have not really thought of the potential benefits of different devices that answer very differnt needs.

Don Leu repeatedly observed that the only constant in this area is that it keeps changing. As Kristin Javorsky and I presented recently in a Reading Teacher article the key to teach students to deal with the ever changing environment is to teach cognitive flexibility. Then why not do that with choice of device? The late Steve Jobs repeatedly made comparisons between vehicle and device diversity- fit the tool to the job. That can and probably should start in school, where else can you learn to be flexible, experiment and learn to match the tool to the task?

Education is about differentiation we can do that with devices as well.

No comments: