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Let's use more than we have, lets use what they have too..

I often hear from people that I teach, that they just don't have the tools at their own schools to implement technology like they want to. I usually then teach about the one to few computer classroom and strategies that will work in that situation and they discuss what they see as that day when they can provide true one-to-one computing for their students. My thoughts though are that we will most likely never need to provide the one-to-one computing for everyone, just the needed access. While we could wait to implement an ebook program where every student is provided the reader and the books, why wait. What about using what they student may already have in their bookbag or at home. Think instead about such a program as the transportation infrastructure. We could set it up so that everyone takes public transportation, we could, but we don't. Instead we usually set it up for a few situations. There are times when we would like a majority of the population to use public transportation, but they don't have to. Instead we (as in we the people) provide an infrastructure network (of roads) and people provide their own devices to access that network, and at the same time there is public transportation for those who need it and for those who want to use it for other reasons. As ebook devices become more and more common, let alone the smart phone aspect, and their cost decreases, already many of my students are investing in their own reader and I just either point to the ebook store locations or when it is a public domain or creative commons book provide access links through our course space. For a student in need, I could provide a tool for them to access, but I'm finding that today, a large number of my students are showing up with their own devices. They may not be bringing them to class on the first day, but they have them and they are quite happy to start using them with class materials.
So lets not forget what people already have as we start planning on how we will begin the process of integrating digital textbooks into schools.

Texas district sees success with Bring Your Own Technology program
School officials in Weatherford, Texas, are seeing positive results from a pilot Bring Your Own Technology program. Under the policy, students use their own smartphones, laptops and other devices at school under a teacher's supervision. Officials say the program is allowing schools to capitalize on students' interest in technology at little financial cost. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (1/8)


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