For decades, many schools gave old hand-me-down computers to their youngest students. The implicit logic is that little kids don’t need the best computers. Today, many school districts provide iPads for its youngest students. Both practices are built on faulty logic.
Sure, the iPad is light, easy to use and has a good battery life, but of all the students in a school or district, younger children need the most computing power for speech, graphics and video.
Since most high schools steadfastly refuse to change in any way shape or form, note-taking, looking stuff up and word processing are about all one might expect computers are used for.
Therefore, wouldn’t it make more sense to give the less powerful computers to the older students in a school and the real computers to the little kids?
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.