Students Need Tools Where They Are @wmchamberlain

Image Sources: Adapted from and

In response to my blog entry, Embracing Heresy: Ending Computer Lab-based Learning, William Chamberlain writes the following:
Obviously students bringing tools they choose to use would be the ideal situation. Unfortunately, I have students that don't/can't/won't even bring pencils and paper. Whether it is a matter of money, neglect, or a combination of the two that is reality. I realize that is not the same situation everywhere, but that is the situation here. 
I am not a big fan of computer labs, especially since I [was] just promoted out of one back into the regular ed classroom. I believe students need the tools where there are. I will have spent around $1700 of my own money for tech tools for my students to use this year alone. That isn't nearly enough. We will spend a lot of time waiting to use them.  
I would love for our district to go 1:1 anything at this point. Even if the solution they choose isn't the best for every student it would be a start. That is going to happen any time soon either.
I am completely behind the idea of BYOD. I bring my own and students should be able to as well. The problem is so much bigger than a policy change though.
Equity is one of the reasons that BYOT solutions have trouble taking root in schools. Gary Stager has a whole blog post--BYOD--Worst Ideas of the 21st Century?--that addresses the challenges, issues, etc. What do I think? BYOT is an idea whose time has come. At a time when schools are being demonized, branded as failures by about everyone, we have to be open to fresh possibilities. Simply, why the heck not?


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Unknown said…
I agree they need the tool where they are AND when they need it. Scheduling to get into the computer lab assumes all students are ready for that step. Often i see a short need for the tech and if they could just pull it out & use it for 10-15 mins that is all they need to keep moving forward on a project. having to go to a computer lab is annoying. Do we still need to use the analogy of a business many of those places have one computer lab for 700 people and have to schedule when their department can use it??? A computer lab is not tech integration, it is tech add on.

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