We just completed our kids’ school supply shopping. Notebooks, three ring binders, folders, pens, pencils, markers, calculator, etc. were on the list. $100.00/child and counting considering it’s just the start of the school year. It seems we always need to replenish or add to the list over the course of the year, and that’s just elementary school and junior high.
Let’s say the total is conservatively $150.00 per year per child. We do this each and every year for 12 years x 2 kids and you rack up at minimum $3600.00 over the course of their primary public education.
At what point are we going to scrap the paper and pencil model and simply go digital? For $3600.00 over 12 years, I could have purchased an iPad every 4 years for each of them. With an iPad, you can read, write, draw, add, subtract, multiply, divide, research, compose, and even turn in homework. Hence Apple’s push in this space, and blogs like this that tout “why iPad in schools”.
It’s already happening at some schools in Chicago and New York, but what is it going to take for schools to adopt the digital world in mass? It may come down to money, but based on my calculations above, that could be covered by the parents, public grants, donations, or scholarships from private entities.
I think it comes down more to how we embrace technology to educate. Face it, the new generations are born digital and can quickly navigate a smartphone or tablet at an earlier age and much faster than most adults. Just look at your own kids. The student’s learning curve on using technology is not the hurdle, but it maybe for most teachers that have been educating for years. According to the study Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths by The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University, “continued technological education throughout a teacher’s career is vital to providing students with the skills they will need for future careers,” said Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association.
I’m all for teaching teachers how to teach with technology, and for forking over $500 every 4 years for an iPad or similar technology at the expense of school supplies…because in the long run, my kids will be much better prepared for the digital world in which they were born.
How are you using technology to teach your own kids at home?
Image by: Apple, Inc.