We need a new vision of what learning can get us, of where it takes us, what it means to us fundamentally...how life-altering it is...if we are preparing only for a tomorrow which brings us new unknown technologies, why not say what we really want?
"The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate. This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We're targeting kids who most likely don't have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools." (Source: 640,000 students in L.A. to get free iPads)Why not say this instead...
The most important thing isn't to prepare kids for the technology they are going to face when they graduate...that changes constantly, you know. Rather, we seek to provide devices that empower habits of creativity and innovation. We target those children most neglected, who lack access, and whose creativity lies in wait...like a prisoner waiting for the key to be inserted, the lock to be undone, a bird waiting for first spring.Education has not been a delay of learning, but rather, an acceleration of learning towards a vision of...flight? When we graduate, what do we hope our young learners, how do we imagine their first flights and where they might go?
For some, the vision is simple or horribly complex opposites that must be reconciled:
- That they are prepared to use the technology they will face when they graduate.
- That they will be prepared to survive their first contact with a world that will greet them in whatever way your worldview has enabled you to see it. At times, nurturing, or rife with enemies out to get you; a world filled with helping hands or sad economic realities that seek to exploit; a world of opportunity for transformation or one where life's only transformation "spikes" you like a football into the grave.
When we give our children new technology, it's shouldn't be to prepare them for tomorrow. Rather, it is to develop in them skills and strategies for dealing with the unknown today. I may play video games today that teach me to "fail, fail again, and fail better." Tomorrow, I don't know about. Today, though, let me explore the new tools so that I may learn new ways to fail. Isn't that