When will we in education stop making special rules just for technology?
There is a good deal of anxiety on the part of staff about our immanent Chromebook roll-out in regard to who is responsible for loss and damage of these student devices when they travel around school and to and from home.
Do we really need "special" rules, insurance, warnings, etc. for these $272 pieces of plastic and silicon?
The average cost of a high school textbook in 2015 was $68. This means a kid taking home textbooks for four classes, besides straining his/her back, is also hauling around $272 worth of cellulose and ink. Band instruments can run into the thousands of dollars. I am guessing sports equipment and uniforms aren't exactly cheap either. The fact is that we are already trusting our students and their families with school-owned property that is more costly to replace than these little computers. And we trustingly provide this stuff without demands for insurance, special signed agreements, separate policy statements.
So why are we singling technology out for special treatment?
We need to examine the special treatment of technology to a number of areas including policy, classroom rules, and access. Technology had been in schools long enough that paranoia born of novelty and newness should no longer be an excuse for special treatment.
I still dream of the day that the laptop is no more remarkable than a 3-ring binder; wi-fi signals no more remarkable than electric lights; the learning management system no more remarkable than a textbook.
Maybe this year. Right.