Some years ago, I said aloud: "All these same results could be achieved in the classroom, without using computers..." while taking one course about the use of computers in the classroom. Of course, everybody turn around to look at me, then they smiled and continued doing their task at hand.
In the place where I live, computers labs are installed in schools where there are no permanent electricity, functional bathrooms, the buildings are crumbling and the students had to sit down on the floor because there is no money to fix their chairs or buy new ones...
Sadly enough, after the first week, most computer labs are stolen of their assets, to never return to their initial state. After that, everything goes predictably down.
As you would understand, I am not popular among the groups that benefits grossly of selling hardware equipment for school computer labs or sell training for teachers or sell software that never works or is unused to their full potential.
Even so, i feel optimist, because this state of dispair and abandon would not last forever. Yes, I choose to be optimist.
In this article, you could read this paragraph: "Absent clear evidence, the debate comes down to subjectivity, parental choice and a difference of opinion over a single world: engagement. Advocates for equipping schools with technology say computers can hold students’ attention and, in fact, that young people who have been weaned on electronic devices will not tune in without them."
This is the same conclusion that I arrive some weeks ago, and write about them in this message:
"Today, with so many electronic gadgets created specifically to entertain, it should be shocking for the youngest students to learn that these could be used for learning or "work"...
After reading about the "Gamification" of learning in revUP, I read again all the articles written by Mark Prensky about games and learning and I reached a different conclusion, starting from the same data.
Right now, I borrowed one of the Pokemon's Guide to their games and I am taking notes about their strategies and methods to "engage" (this is the keyword: "engage") their players to complete their games (and buy more, when available)"
Well, some could say that I am a dreamer, but now I am sure that I am not the only one... :-D