However, implementing BYOD is easier said than done – schools cannot simply invite students to start bringing their iPhones into the classroom and be done with it. Aside from the fundamental question of whether a district should adopt BYOD, which of course must be carefully considered, there are a variety of issues that any district committed to BYOD will face, and without proper planning, “BYOD may not work as people had hoped.
Lack of the free and equitable intercourse which springs from a variety of shared interests makes intellectual stimulation unbalanced. Diversity of stimulation means novelty, and novelty means challenge to thought. The more activity is restricted to a few definite lines — as it is when there are rigid class lines preventing adequate interplay of experiences — the more action tends to become routine on the part of the class at a disadvantage, and capricious, aimless, and explosive on the part of the class having the materially fortunate position.
Technology is basically neutral. It’s kind of like a hammer. The hammer doesn’t care whether you use it to build a house, or whether a torturer uses it to crush somebody’s skull.
Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere. It is not enough to have the power of concentration, but we must have worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. It is not enough to know truth, but we must love truth and sacrifice for it.
— ~ Martin Luther King, Jr, The Purpose of Education (PDF)
The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society.
Unfortunately, in this tough economy, these politicians are making the all too common mistake of confusing education with training. The idea that universities should simply be factories for producing graduates focused exclusively in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields is incredibly shortsighted. While getting a job that leads toward a fulfilling career is a great reason for going to college, it certainly isn’t the only one. A liberal arts education (including, for example, philosophy, art and sociology) educates the whole person and prepares students to excel in a range of careers and, even more importantly, live a life rich with meaning and purpose.
Fact is, walls or not, all the world’s a classroom. Fact is, life’s a classroom where curiosity reigns with both over-the-shoulder interest and the joys of struggling alone. […] Gutenberg, Darwin, the Wright Brothers and even modern computer whiz-bangs show that innovation comes from accumulated knowledge, constructive errors and the magnificent happenstance of “information spillover” (information intended for one gets picked up, carried, and improved by another). And good stuff happens anywhere—labs, workshops, hangars, garages and yep, classrooms.
— Robert Genn in What’s this classroom thing all about?
Educators in every country except Russia tend to be constitutionally timid, and, either by their income or by their snobbery, to be adherents of the rich. On both grounds their teaching tends to over-emphasise the importance of the law and the constitution, although these give the past a paralysing hold over the present. By reaction against this over emphasis, those who desire any radical improvement in the world are compelled to be revolutionary, and the revolutionary’s conception of duty to the community is liable to be just as narrow, and in the long run just as dangerous, as that of the advocate of law and order.
— Bertrand Russell, in Education and the Social Order
Knowing how to type and how to create documents on a computer is obviously important. And for most people, writing in cursive is a rare event. Once touted as more efficient than print, typing is more efficient than either form of writing by hand. And as such cursive may seem like an extraneous skill. Nevertheless, removing cursive from the curriculum has been controversial. Some have argued that learning cursive isn’t simply about learning how to write efficiently. It’s about learning how to write beautifully. It’s about fine motor skills. It’s about expression. And according to a report in The Wall Street Journal last year, there are a number of benefits to cognition and memory that come from writing by hand.