For so many years we spent the hot summer days at the beach. And the trip on the way home we always did the same thing...jump in the car, blast the fan and dream of life inside a refrigerator.
But then I remember my first trip in a car with air conditioning! What luxury! Absolutely incredible to think what was possible with technology.
The introduction of devices in education is very much like the introduction of air conditioning. Both require a change of habit and practise in order realise its full benefits to transform the environment.
If we still jump into the car on a hot summer's day wind down the windows and blast the air conditioning we will not fully appreciate the change it could make to the environment. If you but your hand close enough to the air vent you would feel that the air was definitely cooler, but over time someone would realise that the new technology (air conditioning) was costing more to run and sucking the energy from the car, the financial costs and the energy sapping factor would simply make air conditioning a waste of time in cars!
Another great example of how a change in technology has required a change in habit or practise it the development of the chainsaw. Whilst like an axe, a chainsaw is a tool that is designed to bring trees down. However if you use a chainsaw to hack at trees as you would with an axe, you will break the tool and not the tree! Watch this chainsaw ad from New Zealand and see if you understand what I mean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW4aEmhyYE0
To buy a chainsaw just to use like an axe is a complete waste of money!
For some schools, this has been their experience during the introduction of devices in education. We have spent a tonne of money and effort on getting the tools into the school and learning how to use them but have not changed our practises within the classroom. We still drive around with the windows wound down. If we took the time to wind up the windows and change some practises within the school now the technologies are available we would reap the benefits of the changed environment.
If you settle on implementing new tools in the classroom on at a substitutive level (eg, use the tools to do what you have always done in books) people will give up and not see the point.
Can you imagine buying a car without air conditioning or an axe to bring down a forest now a days? The new technology's success in the is only because people changed their habits to maximise its benefits!