The Great Tablet Experiment FAQs
I've talked to some people who have wondered why I'm spending my time on this project. Here are some of the most common questions I've received and my responses to them.
- Isn't this just a huge waste of money?
I don't think this is a huge waste of money. These tablets are not going to be used once and tossed away. They can be used with/without wifi and still provide a wealth of information and content creation tools that far surpass what a traditional textbook can provide. The tablets are not confined to one classroom all day. They are given to students to use for the year. That allows them to be used in different content areas. An Language Arts book would be useful in English class. A tablet can be useful in all classes. Short term, it will be expensive, but in the long run, the tablets will be worth the expense.
- What are you trying to prove?
I'm trying to prove that there are others ways to approach teaching and learning. There is value to the traditional teaching models, but there is room for innovation. Tablets allow for many different and creative ways to present content. I spend time trying to convince educators that there is value in integrating technology into the curriculum. The tablet experiment could provide "real world" experience to the teachers and administrators that could persuade them to look at technology and education in a different light.
For the students, it will allow them access to technology they might not be able to use otherwise. As we prepare these students for college and the job market, any extra experience with different forms of technology will prove beneficial. Also, the tablets will allow the students more computer access than the average student in my school because of the limited computer lab space.
- Who do you think is going to pay for this?
I would love it if some big company swooped in and offered to pay for the entire experiment. I guess that is possible, but not super likely. I've made friends with various tech companies, but I don't think they have the money to spend on this project.
I would like to see this be a joint venture with my district and local businesses. I feel that community involvement is key in supporting upgrades in technology. The commitment from the community can also sends strong message to the district about the value of technology integration in schools.
I'm still lacking funding, but I will be talking to my district in a couple of weeks to see what type of funding they could provide and that will help me see what alternative funding I will need to make this tablet experiment happen.
- Why should your students get the tablets and not others?
I think all of the students in my building should get tablets. Sadly, that is not possible. Students are assigned classes based on their scheduling needs. Some students get to be in my class and others do not. It's luck of the draw and I think it is fair. I'm sure there will be students who want to transfer into my class to get a tablet, but those issues will be dealt with if/when we need to.
- Is this really going to be good for the students?
I think it will be great for the students who get to use the tablets and for future students in the district. I have confidence that I will put together a great curriculum that integrates the tablets seamlessly into the classroom. There will be bumps in the road, but the success stories that will come from the tablet use will hopefully encourage enlarger investment from the community and district in the years to come.
Technology integration is a marathon, not a sprint. Small steps need to be taken to change the minds of teachers, administrators, school board members and community members about the value of tech integration.
My goal for The Great Table Experiment is to change the perception of these important education stakeholders by trying something new. I have the passion to do it, so I'm going to try.
I'll keep everyone posted as I make progress. Please keep the questions coming and I'll do my best to address them all.
If you are interested in helping bring tablets to my classroom, please feel free to contact me at OneNerdyTeacher@gmail.com