My Issue with 1:1 and Webquests

I think I have found my philosophical buttons. I come to my teaching each day satisfied in my notion that waiting, or even wanting, 1:1 device to student ratio is not only irrational, it can be detrimental to the learning that I am attempting to get my students to do. I find that 1:1 puts teachers in a comfortable position because it provides a replacement for the 1:1 textbooks/resources that we had before, and students learned, without conversation, on worksheets. I want my students to not have enough computers because that requires students to have conversations, to work with each other, to move about the class to find a solution. I want students to not be on devices so that I can have conference with them. I want students to see collaboration as the first step, and not as a last resort.

Maybe I have conditioned myself, knowing that 1:1 is a pipe dream, to see the wish for that as a negative aspect. It could be better. However, I have yet to be convinced that when I have every student with a device, that I get better learning.

Which brings me to my other brand of irrational hate, and that is the webquest – the worksheet/textbook hybrid of teachers creating a scavenger hunt across predetermined websites. I don’t see the HOTS, or soft skills developed in these processes. I can maybe see some familiarity with navigating the web, but we aren’t building search skills and we aren’t creating good web users.

We talk about productive struggle in Math and Langauge, and letting kids get messy and creative in these disciplines. Yet, when it comes to integrating tech, many of us allow for no divergence off the indicated path. Kids get “distracted” by other sites. I ask you, when was the last time you had a single tab and a single task going happening on your computer. We can’t “do as I say, not as I do” anymore. Reasonable expectations are necessary for technology use, and it needs to start with us as educators taking a hard look at how we use it first.