Lets see...
Let's have a little competition at school and get ready for the future.
I will use a laptop and you will use paper and pencil.  Are you ready?
I will access up-to-date information - you have a textbook that is 5 years old.
*Ok, while you are waiting for your laptop to boot and your crashed graphics application to start, I'll sketch out my ideas in a handy, expressive, easily edited media that fits in my pocket.  Some of our greatest designs started out as "napkin sketches," you know.  Oh, and did you realize that the story you quoted yesterday has already been debunked as an urban legend?

I will immediately know when I misspell a word; you have to wait until it's graded.
*Your spelling's not so good?  Too bad.  I try to learn how to spell the word correctly in the first place, because it's important to me.

I will learn how to care for technology by using it; you will read about it.
*Yes, it does seem that I have more time for reading than you do.  Perhaps it's all the time you spend on the computer, or the time you spend working to afford the computer and its Internet connection?

I will see math problems in 3d; you will do the odd problems.
*I see math problems in the world, not on the screen.  You cannot create real 3D on a flat screen.

I will create artwork and poetry and share it with the world; you will share yours with the class.
*I'll be able to sense people's responses in real time.  I'll see their expressions, hear their laughs, feel their tears.  I'm sorry that you will miss that experience. Oh, and I'll know that someone really sees it and that's it's not just buried on a web page somewhere, lost in the crowd.

I will have 24/7 access; you have the entire class period.
*Yup, I'll be riding my bike, watching a movie, communicating with friends, singing in the chorus while you are still typing.

I will access the most dynamic information; yours will be printed and photocopied.
*Yes, I use paper-based media that works in any environment, can be quickly accessed and has low-value, so that I don't have to worry about leaving it on a beach towel when I feel like getting my toes wet.  I'll admit, it does take a little more organization and planning but then, I am not restricted to only that information that is digitized. 

I will communicate with leaders and experts using email; you will wait for Friday's speaker.
*Um, don't you mean that you will be ignored by and get more canned email responses from leaders and experts?  I usually get very thoughtful replies to my letters.

I will select my learning style; you will use the teacher's favorite learning style.
*Perhaps we have better teachers at my school.  They have mastered the ability to teach to multiple learning styles.  I have learned that it is good for me to do at least some of my learning in styles that are not my first choice.  Why don't you ask your teacher to take a workshop in the McCarthy 4MAT system, or one of the other excellent approaches to teaching to multiple learning styles?

I will collaborate with my peers from around the world; you will collaborate with peers in your classroom.
*Collaboration.  Is that what you call that instant messaging, forwarded jokes, junk email, online gaming and virus-laden software that you are always interacting with while the teacher is trying to introduce the day's learning in that computer-based class that you are taking?

I will take my learning as far as I want; you must wait for the rest of the class.
*Yes, they are still looking at the mastodon skeleton in the other room.  My group decided to go through the horticulture of other countries exhibit instead.  You should have smelled those flowers!  Oh, sorry.  I guess you can't do that through the Internet, can you?  I'll send you a photo.  The flowers are really a lot smaller than the Mastodon skeleton, though they will probably look the same size on your screen.
--Steve Barner, voted "Miss Applied Technology" at the last drag queen contest

Original source:

Rae Niles, Director of Curriculum and Technology
Sedgwick Public Schools, USD 439
Sedgwick, KS 67135
Phone:  316-772-5783
Fax:  316-772-0274
"If You Give a Kid an iBook"--a one-to-one laptop initiative in Kansas
[ ]
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink---unless
you salt the hay!  Striving to use technology to "salt the hay" on a
daily basis.

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