It is true that mobile devices in a classroom are more beneficial for teaching and learning than the static computer room of yesterday. But if the school already has such a computer facility, should you get rid of it?
We can benefit from some ancient wisdom that comes to us in the form of one of Aesop’s fables, The Dog and the Shadow. It goes as follows:
It happened that a dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. On his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running river. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen again.
The moral of the story: beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to let go of the substance – in this case the computer room. The goal of using mobile devices on a one-to-one basis in the school remains a dream – a shadow – until every child indeed has such a device. This may take a while to accomplish. While working towards the realization of that dream, the computer room plays a beneficial role in giving digital access to all the learners in the school.
Getting rid of computer room too soon – or allowing it to fall into disrepair – could mean that your learners are deprived of the opportunity to engage with digital resources. Don’t let go of the substance before the shadow has been transformed into reality.
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