I LOVE this piece about the space tablets fill in the technology arena, especially when thinking about the classroom:

A FORK IS NOT DEFINED BY HOW IT IS LABELED BUT BY WHAT IT DOES BEST

When I eat, I use the utensil that best serves my needs.

I do not ask silly questions, like whether a spoon is a liquid consumption device and a fork is a solids consumption device. I do not ask whether a knife does “real” work just because it does not, ordinarily, convey food to my mouth. I do not obsess on the exceptionally rare times when I may use my spoon as a fork, my fork as a knife or my knife as a fork. Instead, I simply use the right tool at the right time.

When I compute, I use the device that best serves my needs.

I do not ask silly questions, like whether a tablet is a consumption device. I do not ask whether a phone or a tablet does “real” work. I do not obsess on the exceptionally rare times when I may use my phone as a tablet, my tablet as a notebook or my notebook as a tablet. Instead, I simply use the right tool at the right time.

The more time I am spending around schools this year the more I am completely convinced about the importance of a MIX of technologies in the classroom.  Some tools are best for some things and some for others.  A laptop can be overkill, expensive and cumbersome for some tasks – think taking a photo of your artwork for a blog post or portfolio.  Just as a tablet is slow and cumbersome for other things that require straight out computing grunt.

But just like the cutlery analogy in this post each has their use – a knife, is not a fork, is not a spoon.  None of them pretend to be the other either.  And also you just choose the best for the job and quickly don't even notice the cutlery if you are eating a good meal!  Shouldn't our technology in schools be the same?

3 Responses to “Tablets as forks?”
  1. And sometimes you can use your fork to open a relaxing can of beer just because you can't find anything else to open it with!

  2. steph campbell says:

    And does working out how a fork can open a relaxing can of beer develop essential problem solving strategies?

  3. […] as Forks -- here.  Choosing the best tools for the job, that if they work well you don't even […]

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