One of the sessions I attended at the ISTE13 conference was a Birds of a Feather discussion. The original discussion topic was advertised was chromebooks. When the actual event happened, the chromebooks topic was replaced by a more general discussion on mobile devices in K-12 learning environments. There were about 8 people at the table, mainly representing independent schools as it turned out.
What really surprised me was the nature of the conversation put forward by most of the participants. From most participants, the discussion centered around being a “one device school”. The key question that emerged was: “How might one go about choosing between the variety of available options: windows netbooks and tablets, android tablets, iPads and chromebooks.”
It seems to me that different tools have different strengths, and that there would be value to having a variety of options available. Besides, at the rate of change with technology, it would be challenging to set a particular long term direction at this point in time that you could stick to. Perhaps the key idea is to focus on learning with technology, and leveraging new possibilities rather than focusing on the device itself. No matter what the device mix is now, things will change. I believe investing in the infrastructure to support the needs of students and staff in todays 21C learning environment with a variety options including BYOD is the best way forward.
An invitation: I am curious to know your view. Please share your thoughts in a comment or tweet.
Blog Post: What’s in a device