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There are just some topics that cause you to draw a line in the sand…choose sides…decide to share your viewpoint…or debate if nothing else. A couple of tech articles I recently read might fit into that category.

Let me be quick to say that I am not trying to pick a fight or cause you to circle your wagons. But as I read these articles, I could not help but picture people I know, love and respect landing on both sides with diverse opinions and perspectives. So I thought it would be fun to throw them out here.

Perhaps the first article Knowledge Center: Learning Tools for Education Technology in the June 2011 American School and University Online Magazine is just one of those topics. Here are a couple of highlights cited that will probably solicit cheering and jeering proponents:

  • The middle school in Worchester, MA, that in 2012-2013 will require every student to own an iPad.
  • The school in Auburn, ME, where officials decided to purchase iPad2’s for each kindergarten student. The ultimate goal is to raise the school’s reading and math performance scores by the third grade.
  • Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, became the first university to provide iPads to all the full-time students (approximately 1,850) and plans to provide all the new 2011 full-time students with the same.

A second article College Offers Scholarship for Twitter ‘Essay’ in the USA Today highlighted another educational use for the social media Twitter application. The article lists several scholarships offered for the best 140-character tweet. Here are a couple and the amounts they offer.

  • University of Iowa – $37k
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – $20k

So what’s your take? If you don’t think that these topics polarize people then just read the comments posted on these two articles. You’ll note diverse opinions ranging from those who think it is the greatest idea in the world to others who are convinced the educational system is doomed.

I really do not have any conclusions to draw from all of this…I just wanted to take a break from my normal blog content for a little levity…and maybe a good debate.

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