David Warlick - We have no choice!??
David Warlick made this comment on his recent blog.
Maine was the first of a handful of states in the U.S. that have decided that it is the state’s responsibility to take learning into the 21st century by investing in access to digital networked information for every teacher and student. Led by former governor, Angus King (present at the opening of the conference), it was a bold and expensive move, especially for a state as rural as Maine — and a state so challenged by rapid economic change.
I come away even more convinced that we are not going to achieve the changes in public education that some of us preach, until we have thrown out the paper and started teaching from a purely digital networked information environment. Staff development will be critical. Leadership will be critical. But the sense that I got from the conversations I had and overheard at that conference is that presented with the void of a new and barely tapped information tool, your great teachers (leader teachers) will blaze trails very quickly and very creatively, and the rest will follow.
We have no choice!
Is he right? If he is, what does this mean for the NZ education system. The government have spent, in recent years, considerable amounts (considerable is debateable btw) of money on professional development but very little on equipment. Schools still struggle with the sausage sizzle and cake stall mentality that they use to provide technology for students. I absolutely applaud the focus on professioanl development but now I think it is time for some serious $$ to be spent on providing hardware and infrastructure to schools. Some of this is slowly happening but in my opinion it is too little and far too slow. We now have one laptop per teacher in NZ. This is wonderful. Now it is time to give schools enough to put laptops in the hands of every student or at least on a ratio of 1:3 for pupils years 5-10 and 1:1 for years 11-13.