1. Digital Natives=Digital Students: “They have grown up with technology and it’s like second nature to them.”
It is true that students use a lot of technology. Many teachers assume that this means that students will instantly feel comfortable using technology in the classroom. While it may be true of some, it is wrong to assume that it will be an easy transition. Today’s students use technology for some very specific things; games, social media, video chats, reading about their interests, possibly making movies. Once you start talking about curating information and synthesizing meaning from multiple sources, they will initially look at you blankly. They will come around but you are going to need to support them and help them get past the immediate difficulty. You will need to know what you want and how to help them get there. Otherwise the natives will be restless.
2. Immediate Engagement- “Students with devices will suddenly, magically connect with the content!”
Technology is not a panacea. Students see most technology as a social or recreational tool. We are doing nothing less than re-tasking their use towards an educational purpose. Once classes have made the transition teachers will have the ability to bring learning to a higher level and find deeper meaning. But before that can happen, you will have a lot of work to do. How will you help them to redefine the purpose of their device? How can you help socialize appropriate behavior? How can you get them to see the excitement and learning potential? Because until you do, you have armed them with a powerful learning tool that also just so happens to be a powerful distraction tool. Teachers are going to have to help them connect with the material just as much as they ever did before. You better have a plan.
3. Time: “Going 1:1 will save time in the classroom” and/or “Going 1:1 will consume time that I can’t afford to lose.”
Really both of these are right and wrong in that going 1:1 will force you to totally reevaluate where you spend your time. You will have to review each activity and each lesson to see how it is affected by the new “Economy of Information” in your classes. What you do will change and so will how you do it. In this regard going 1:1 will upset you because it will shatter your time budget. Nearing the end of my first 1:1 semester I see that I am starting from square one. In some places I have gained time. In others I have lost it. In reality what has happened is I have redistributed time based upon a new set of classroom values. I have divorced myself from the timeline that is in essence based upon a textbook and retooled it based upon my districts learning objectives and the needs and interests of my students.