Discussing Tablets vs Textbooks in GA Schools
This article will serve as an introduction to my Capstone Project for the New Media Journalism Masters Program at Full Sail University.
- Discussing the topic of digital textbooks vs traditional textbooks as it relates to Georgia Early Education is a topic that is steadily on the rise in recent days. Throughout the course of my capstone project I will be introducing you to several subject matter experts who have differing views on this subject.
- The first Subject Matter Expert I will introduce to you is Heather Cox. Cox was one of the 10 Educators honored by the White House as a Connected Educator (ConnectED) "Champion of Change" in November 2013. She is a fourth grade teacher in Fulton County Schools here in Georgia where she is a leader in technology for her school and the county for the past 10 years. Cox helped to bring out the pilot Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) program at her school in spite of the resistance it met.
- The second Subject Matter Expert that I would like to introduce is Connie Perkins. Perkins is a 1st Grade teacher at Fayette Elementary School (FES) in Fayetteville, GA. She has been an educator for over 20 years and is learning about the BYOT program as the students are learning about it in its first year at her school. Perkins is able to help her students (as well as herself) be a lifelong learner as they incorporate technology and building digital citizenship into their curriculum.
- The next Subject Matter Expert will also come from FES, Regina Yeargin. Yeargin is the School Technology Specialist and is in charge of teaching both students and teachers how to properly use the technological devices in order to be more efficient in classroom learning in all grades at the school. She has been in the education field for a long time and says that she is excited about the "advancement of education in regards to digital devices in schools."
- The video above shows an example of how Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) affects the world around us in relation to how people learn. The 21st century has brought about so many technological advances that it is becoming much easier to teach in a classroom with constantly updated material.
- The next Subject Matter Expert that knows a lot about this topic is Carl Golden Sr. Retired Educator of 30 years who began as a 5th grade teacher and transitioned into one of the most influential Technology Specialists in Fulton County Schools. Golden was a part of Fulton County's Inaugural Technology Leadership forums where they began the journey to integrate technology into the schools across the county.
- The Georgia Department of Education has a "Path to Personalized Learning" (listed below) that showcases a plan over three to five years that will end in the result of "Electronic Backpacks" for all students K-12. This personalized learning path is said to have each child with a digital learning device for school to cut down on the heavy book bags that students have been carrying throughout the years with traditional textbooks.
- According to Gordon Dahlby "advances in technology make it possible for students to experience personalized learning anytime" and this goes hand in hand with what the Georgia Department of Education is saying with their "Path to Personalized Learning".
- Christie Johnson states that "Many Georgia school districts have adopted Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)..." and this is true, with Fayette County and Fulton County Schools being the two schools systems focused on throughout this project you will continue to see how it affects each school system.The final Subject Matter Expert will be Michaela Boggs a Kindergarten Teacher in Fulton County Schools. Boggs uses both the iPad and the Hatch Tablet with her students to reinforce lessons that she is teaching them daily. Boggs states "I believe that you have to learn as you go, because there are so many different apps and each one is a learning experience for me and for my students."
- In conclusion, the question still remains,"Which is better in the classroom?" Tablets or Textbooks? In an effort to remain non biased throughout the project I would like to know your views on the subject. Do you feel that traditional textbooks will be eventually phased out to only include digital textbooks in the next few years?Throughout my capstone project I will continue to shed light on this topic of tablets and textbooks allowing parents and other educators to gain more insight on how this will affect future education for our youth.