Take a moment, step back and think about the tools you had available to you while in grade school. Depending on your generation this will vary from slide rules to iPads. Now think about how these tools impacted your learning experience. In most cases these tools were implemented to make completing a task easier or to allow you as a student to use a tool you would use in the “real world”.

An emerging trend are one to one programs where each student gets a device to use in and outside of the classroom. As you may expect this type of program gets a lot of negative feedback and maybe you are thinking this is a terrible idea as well. This is not a terrible idea.

The number one issue people have is the cost of the devices. True, these devices cost quite a bit to purchase, maintain and implement but is this cost justifiable? Most people will compare this use of tech to the cost of text books. While this is an easy comparison it is not an apples to apples comparison. A tablet can do much more than a printed book can. A printed book is static content that is usually outdated by the time it is printed. A tablet allows for digital content that can easily be updated with rich features like videos or interactive 3D models.

Outside of the price is the distractions electronic devices supposedly create. By saying this you are blaming the device not the person as anything can be a distraction, even a book. Kids must learn to use these devices responsibly as these are the tools used in today’s business world. Don’t we want to prepare our children for the future by teaching them to use tech not just for entertainment?

If throughout history we justified not implementing new things by comparing it to our experience, we would still have stone tablets.