Like many, I think I was surprised to see an article with this title from the CBC appear in my reading last week.
It’s not that Ontario doesn’t invest in classroom technology. In fact, they do and have for years. It’s just that it was surprising to see a particular product mentioned. I can’t recall something specific like this going back to the days of the Icon Computer. Usually funding is given to school districts who make their own decisions about platform, support, and implementation.
It was with real curiosity that I dug into the article looking for details. As it turns out, the article talks about money devoted to the purchase of technology. It was the author of the article that chose to include the words iPad in the title. The full announcement, from the Ministry of Education website is located here.
I wasn’t the only one to show some curiosity about this. Later that day, Justin Yantho tagged me in a Google Plus post. He had questions and some thoughts as well. The recent events from the LAUSD didn’t go unnoticed.
Over time, we’ll see exactly what this announcement means. But it does leave one to wonder a few things…
- Is this $150M “new” money or does it represent a new total for investment?
- Will there be professional learning opportunities for teachers to go with this?
- Do all Ontario schools have the infrastructure (wireless access, bandwidth, etc.) to accommodate an initiative like this?
- Will there be provision for hiring technicians for school districts to support an even bigger technology workload?
- Will students be allowed to take portable technology home?
- Will the money be in place to replace these computers 3-4 years from now when they become obsolete?
- Will the use of technology be required in classrooms to specifically support curriculum expectations?
- Will there be a renewed importance on OSAPAC to acquire licensing for software for this technology?