I was at a fascinating conference in December about computing in primary school. More thoughts, I’m sure will follow. However it was something other than computing that got me thinking. Without naming names, I heard one presenter say: “iPads: don’t get me started on iPads.” Then, the very next presenter said, “I really dislike Chromebooks.”
I have mixed feelings about both of these statements. I was sitting at a Chromebook at the time, busily tweeting away as I took advantage of the frankly fantastic wifi offered by the Cumberland Hotel. Thinking about the previous few weeks however, the very best lessons I had taught involved using iPads. I like both devices. In fact I’d go on to say that my favourite device is actually my Windows laptop, because it’s so wizzy.
What’s more I really like the idea of children benefiting from using a mixed economy of devices. I think the flexibility learnt from using different devices is invaluable. That’s why, despite being a complete Google fanboy, I still purchased iPads for my school. And upgraded teacher laptops with windows devices, not Chromebooks.
What I’m saying is that I am for flexibility. I am for children learning with different technologies, different operating systems, different interfaces.
I could go on. I could specify what I think the pros and cons are for the different devices I have mentioned. But there’s a wider point here. As teachers we are inherently positive people. We teach for a reason – we believe we have something to offer our children – that education is a gift, something that will benefit them, give them knowledge and maybe even hope for a better future.
If we start defining ourselves by what we are not, or by what we don’t do, then we diminish ourselves. Unless we are dismissing items and actions that are inherently evil, we should stick to emphasising what we are for.
And neither iPads or Chromebooks are evil, are they?