Just finished reading the book Education Nation by Milton Chen and found the following post in Chapter 3 “The Technology Edge: Putting Modern Tools in Young Hands.” According to the book, this was posted anonymously on the Dialogue Buzz web site of Abilene (KS) High School.
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 will have a textbook that is five years old.
I will immediately know when I misspell a word. You have to wait until it’s graded.
I will learn how to care for technology by using it. You will read about it.
I will see math problems in 3-D. You will do the odd problems.
I will create artwork and poetry and share it with the world. You will share yours with the class.
I will have 24/7 access. You will have the entire class period.
I will access the most dynamic information. Yours will be printed and photocopied.
I will communicate with leaders and experts using email. You will wait for Friday’s speaker.
I will select my learning style. You will use the teacher’s favorite learning style.
I will collaborate with my peers from around the world. You will collaborate with the peers in your classroom.
I will take my learning as far as I want. You must wait for the rest of the class.
The cost of a laptop per year? $250.
The cost of teacher and student training? Expensive.
The cost of well-educated U.S. citizens and workforce? Priceless.
I’ve had this book sitting within the pile beside my bed for several months, but I’m glad to have finally read it. Chen is obviously passionate about the topic, and I love the big-picture and forward thinking perspective he has for education and our country. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys thinking about and acting upon needed reforms in learning and teaching.