There seems to have been tons of comment and commentary from our announcement that we plan to give kindergarten students iPads next fall. I wrote a little about it in my latest post (about it being a waste of money), and I intend to post soon about some of the misconceptions about the project.
But I need to step away from educator mode for just a minute and share my initial response (read “vent”!).
First off, WOW! I can’t believe the number of responses (and, yes, I’m responding mostly to the negative responses) expressing strong opinions with very little to no background information. They just see “iPads for kindergarteners” and go off.
I have to admit that this is quite frustrating to me. There is almost no demonstration of Stephen Covey’s “seek first to understand” and I’m amazed at the assumptions people seem to be making.
It is hard to see that people assume we are doing this because of the gadget (which we aren’t), or because “we can” (which we aren’t), instead of because we’ve had success working with students this way (which we have).
It is also frustrating to realize that so many people assume our early childhood literacy specialists don’t understand developmentally appropriate use of learning aids, rather than ask the question, “Wow, if they’re doing this, they must have some interesting results and experiences; I wonder what those are?”
So, thanks for the chance to vent, and I’ll get back to reflecting on our exciting early childhood initiative and sharing information and resources.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
All of the hoopla around this is frustrating me from the other end of the spectrum, if you will, since it’s clear that most journalists are far more interested in the headline that reads “iPads for every Kindergartener!” rather than actually asking interesting questions — now or even better when the kids get them — about how this will work. *Sigh*
Thanks, Mike. I have been increasingly irked through the day by Diane Ravitch’s multiple re-tweets from teachers who assure her that there is still room for fun in *their* kindergarten classrooms at least, all the more so because in general I have such respect for her. In that context, I am rather comforted to hear your vent, and I look forward to learning more the project. 🙂
Thanks Mike. I like your Steven Covey comment. Isn’t this the issue with so much of society right now – we fail to seek understanding. I also think that there is so much fear about what the future holds for us. A little smile for you …you know who really wants IPads!! Keep up the good work Mike!