Our school is in an exciting challenge to try and develop the creative, collaborative and media fluent student of the 21st Century. This year we have 30 ipads for each year level p-3, 30 Macbook Pros for every year level between 4-6. 1 to 1 computing for our triple streamed High School iPads for Grades 7-9 and 1 to 1 Macbook pros from 10 to 12. It is a wonderful and exciting adventure, saving hundreds of student diaries as they use their tablets, that is at least one tree saved. The big fear though is whether the bandwidth is big enough to handle all those online computers. The big test on the first day or two as the computers and tablets are rolled out. I wonder what will happen! (it struggled but we have had an upgrade and now things are going ok, most days. Great to be in a school were the principal sees the priority to make it work.)
So often great lessons have failed due to lack of internet capabilities. Last year, I remember having 28 Grade 3 students logging onto Glogster to make a rainforest poster only to have 14 on and 14 blocked as the internet was not able to handle it. The excitement of online learning can soon turn to frustration of a lesson gone wrong as you run around to 14 students who are going, "It's not working Mr. Costin". aargh!. But despite the failures, and the just in case it doesn't work lesson plans we need to make, most teachers are willing to have a go. I actually think teachers are one of the most resilient people I know. So many times have I witnessed teachers try a lesson have it fail and then attempt something else with new improvements and extra work at home to refine it. At present as we transition to a more interactive and technological based learning, I am sure it will bring some heartache. But as always, the technology is only there to support the learning. Great teachers will still have the learning of the students at the core. Whether the internet is racing or snail pacing, great lessons can still take place, just maybe with a little higher blood pressure for each of the teachers.