iPads

The Book Test

Monday, December 28, 2015 Comment 5 children reading books on couch

Launa Hall’s recent essay in the Washington Post describes her misgivings and concerns about her third-grade students using ipads in the classroom. Hall describes a handful of arresting moments when her students’ ipad use caused them to tune out both her and each other in favor of their devices, setting the contemporary technology aesthetic of “sleek devices” and “shining screens” against the “give-and-take” of “human interaction.” Hall’s essay is one of a modern genre that despairs over the growing ubiquity of mobile technologies and their impact on human values like conversation and connectedness, but it is


Seeking the Next Steve Jobs

Thursday, July 16, 2015 Comment steve jobs graphic collage made up of apple products

Most practitioners and education researchers argue that digital divides are still the biggest obstacle to ensuring that diverse populations of youth have a shot at becoming the next Steve Jobs. Among these divides are gaps in students’ digital skills. For example, studies find that teachers do not equally teach the same digital skills in Internet use, online collaboration, and digital production. But school technology rollouts in recent history suggest it’s more than just about skills. When in 2013, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) signed a $30 million deal with Apple to buy iPads for its


Addressing “The War on Learning”

Thursday, July 17, 2014 Comment classroom presentation with presenter on War on Formal learning

I’m always interested in technology critics who are accomplished users of the tools they criticize. Elizabeth Losh, director of Academic Programs, Sixth College at UC San Diego, teaches digital rhetoric, digital journalism, and software studies, and she was one of the organizers of a MOOC, FemTechNet, so she is neither opposed to nor unfamiliar with the uses of digital media in education. Losh is concerned, however, about what she perceives as an attack by educators on the kinds of informal learning young people engage in today — and an attack by education reformers on the human


Innovators, Not Hackers: Stop Portraying Youth as Digital Deviants

Thursday, May 29, 2014 Comment Roosevelt High school female student presentation response to media's portrayal of our high school

Why is it that when young people use technology on adult terms, they are praised as 21st century learners, but when they use technology on their OWN terms, they are castigated as deviant rule-breakers? I’ve been pondering this question lately as I consider the national media attention that students from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, a predominantly Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, have received in relation to the rollout of iPads for all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. By most accounts, the rollout of the iPads has been — how could I


Meaningful Integration: Optimistic About iPads in Schools

Thursday, February 13, 2014 Comment group of young students holding up ipads over their face with pictures of their face on screen

Late last year, my colleague Thomas Philip and I discussed why we were so troubled by the ways the Los Angeles Unified School District bumbled its way through adopting iPads for its students. And, as the second largest school district in the country continues to waffle in its plans for students, I’ve been excited about one district’s initiative to meaningfully integrate technology into the school lives of children.  Starting last week, the St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado began its “deployment” of iPad minis to students at two middle schools. What will eventually be a