A Supercomputer in Every Backpack

A Supercomputer in Every Backpack: People visit my school all the time. They shake my hand as they leave and tell me how inspiring it all is and often they sign off with “truly, the iPad is the future of education”. I bite my tongue every time because unlike Richard Stallman I’m not an anti-social jackass, but I want to correct them.

I want to tell them that the iPad is not the future of education, it’s the present of education. If we consign the iPad to the realms of the future, then we are implicitly saying that it’s not for right here, right now, today. We’re saying that we can postpone the task of seriously engaging with the educational and social impact of ubiquity of Internet-connected computing.

I ask you to consider other industries that put off dealing with such challenges. How is that approach working out for record companies? For newspapers? For booksellers?

The hour is already late. We have allowed a 16-year gap to develop between society and schools in terms of our children’s access to computers. Can we properly prepare Beth and her cohort for the year 2029 with the same level of access to computers that I had 35 years before?

How long can we let this gap continue to grow? Another five years? Another ten? In another 14 years, if GSMA are right, society as a whole will have 7 connected devices each – will we be delivering relevant education in that world if each pupil only has a third of a computer to themselves?

Cedars is not a school of the future. I think we’re a decade late. [Everything that Fraser has been working cuts close to my heart as I concern myself Noah’s education. What parts are his school getting right? What parts are they getting wrong? Where is it so bad that I need to shore it up, where can ignore it as it as irrelevant? Clearly his school has the computer and technology stuff wrong. But I don’t think it matters because that is something that I can (fortunately) fix. Not everyone can, but I (we) can. The stuff I can’t fix? What they feed him. The crappy behaviors he learns from the kids on the bus. Yeah, I know all survivable stuff, but considering the importance of these years… anyway, consider how your child’s education doesn’t match the needs of the marketplace. What are you going to do about it? Where do you think it’s lacking?]
Source: Fraser Speirs

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