Friday, June 24, 2011

Consumption v. Creation

iPad with on display keyboardImage via WikipediaQuite the topic for debate right now in the education community, what type of device do my students need to perform the tasks, assignments and work that is required of them? Do they need a single device that they can transport with them at all times and if the answer is yes, what does that device look like? Or do students simply need access to devices based on their requirements?

The debate of consumption versus creation has peaked given the introduction of the tablet devices (iPads, Galaxy, Xoom, etc.) into the K-12 market. While these devices serve a great role in the fit-for-purpose environment, it charges the debate of whether this device completely meets their needs. Many educators (myself included at this point in time) still believe students need access to both a consumption device and a creation device (laptop, desktop, etc.) for a percentage of their work.

However, one could argue that as the tablet devices become more sophisticated and are targeted at the K-12 market, instead of a consumer device, the above could shift. We could see students using a tablet device as their primary device and not needing access to a creation device, because the ability and intuitiveness to create on these devices will become much more sophisticated.

As for now, I am in the camp of access to devices as needed. My philosophy may shift as the devices shift, but only time will tell. What are your thoughts on consumption devices versus creation devices?


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Jody said...

I think it boils down to what the district wants to accomplish. I wish everyone would ask this first before parading in the various types of devices.

For years, we've wanted kids to create just enough content to show that they adequately consumed what they were fed. Now, the knowledge is everywhere to be consumed.

Let's get a device that has the 'textbook' (whether a PDF or simply content on the web) as part of the package. That will shift the mindset to that of having a device for everyone. Maybe that will then force the conversation of what we do in such an environment.

You been reading my stuff? :)

JDS said...

I agree that districts need to have these conversations first. The textbook conversation is coming sooner rather later. We are working on a pilot in the fall that has the potential to transform etextbooks and devices, I'll keep you posted.

I always read your stuff. :)

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