Concepts, Assessments, Subversions
Teaching with Laptops: A Critical Assessment of One-to-One Technologies
In recent years Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become the main keyword for school innovation. There has been an increasing amount of literature on how traditional teaching methodologies should be redesigned in order to include the use of technology. However, few studies have recognized that school innovation especially requires investments in human capability – not technology – to respond to the demands of the information age. The chapter presents a comparative qualitative research carried on between 2009 and 2012 in primary schools in Italy, Ethiopia and Brazil. The examined programs – One Laptop Per Child in Italy and Ethiopia; Um Computador por Aluno in Brazil – provided children with low-cost and low-power laptops, designed both for didactical and personal use, with the purpose to actively involve them in knowledge construction. The findings illustrate how difficult it is for teachers to deal with a new setting of didactics, and how important is to provide them with the necessary training and institutional support, in order to enhance a meaningful process of school innovation.
The question of how to bring about a real transformation of teaching and learning touches one of the most relevant issues in the debate about the use of technology in education. On the one hand, it is generally agreed upon that traditional educational practices should be redesigned through ecological approaches that include the possibilities given by the interaction with the digital media and the engaging dynamics of web 2.0 (Bucy & Newhagen, 2004;...
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