Yes, the cloud is coming to education, (The cloud is another whole story!) and we must offer the tools and access for students, teachers and parents to access that cloud in order to do their jobs in the future. The question "Why can my kid get better WiFi access at a Burger King than at his school?" is a valid one. Why can they??
From the Web I find:
On April 1, 2011 Project Tomorrow released the report “The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged and Empowered – How Today’s Students are Leveraging Emerging Technologies for Learning” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC.
The project surveyed almost 300,000 students (along with 43,000 parents, 35,000 teachers, 2000 librarians and 3500 administrators) from over 6500 private and public schools last fall about how they're using - and how they want to be using - technology for learning.
Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected student and parent national findings from the Speak Up 2010 report and moderated a panel discussion with students and parents who shared their insights and experiences.
• 67 percent of parents said they would purchase a mobile device for their child to use for schoolwork if the school allowed it, and 61 percent said they liked the idea of students using mobile devices to access online textbooks.
• 53 percent of middle and high school students reported that the inability to use cell phones, smart phones or MP3 players was the largest obstacle when using technology in school. Additionally, 71 percent of high school students and 62 percent of middle school students said that the number one way schools could make it easier to use technology would be to allow greater access to the digital content and resources that Internet firewalls and school filters blocked.
• Parents are increasingly supportive of online textbooks. Two-thirds of parents view online textbooks as a good investment to enhance student achievement compared to 21 percent in 2008. However, E-textbooks are still a relatively novel concept in the classroom. Slightly over one-third of high school students report they are currently using an online textbook or other online curriculum as part of their regular schoolwork.
• Nearly 30 percent of high school students have experienced some type of online learning.
Parents are willing to purchase technologies, if the service is available:
What are the implications for schools?
We must be willing to adapt with the technologies as well as the needs of our students, staff and patrons. At my school district we currently embrace cell phones, and are in the process of deploying a next-generation WiFi deployment that will allow that access for students and staff. What are your thoughts??? What is your school doing??