Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It’s not just the web...It’s the WEB!

The following is a representation of a conversation that I have had over 100 times in the past 6 months:

Me:  “We are going 1:1 at our high school next year”
Other educator:  “Wow that’s great!  What device?”
Me:  “We will be issuing our students Chromebooks.”
Other educator:  “Oh, yeah, aren’t those the laptops that are just the internet?”
Me:  “Yes, the entire OS and all applications are delivered via the web.”
Other educator:  “So how do your students do...(fill in the blank with any application)”
Me:  “It’s available on the web, but it’s better because it’s collaborative, can be updated in real time, and can be public.  All tremendous advantages that outweigh any shortcoming on web-based versions in my opinion.”

There are many other reasons in addition to the Chromebook being a purely web-based device that we chose it, but I really do believe that choosing the web is choosing opportunity for our students.

The opportunity to work in the real-time web.

The opportunity to realize how powerful and positive a web presence can be.

The opportunity as Shelly Blake-Plock said in his recent #140edu talk, for “educators and students to become a vital part of the equation to shape their own technologies.”

The opportunity to focus on instruction rather than supporting hardware.

The opportunity to connect their learning to anyone or anything at anytime.

The opportunity for students to personalize their learning.

The opportunity to pursue new opportunities.

These opportunities and new ones that we do not even know about yet are the reason we chose the web.  By the way, the cost of this device is just over $100 per student per year on a four year purchase cycle.  I really don’t know how we do not have the responsibility to provide this resource to our students the same way we have always provided books and other resources.  If you have to choose between buying textbooks and buying access to the web - choose the WEB.

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