When I told my students to take part in our own class-blog for learning, some of them showed their doubts about their ability to find suitable material on-line, and it is true if you surf in the web without help.
Things are changing in teaching and some educational authorities are taking into account new technologies to help students improve their general knowledge in specific subjects. An example is this BBC article about educacion in Italy.
Children at a school in Italy have today begun an experiment to replace all their books with personal computers. The pupils involved will each be given a special laptop that contains their entire curriculum. From Rome BBC correspondent Duncan Kennedy reports:
Listen to the story.
Until today, the Don Milani di Rivoli elementary school in central Turin was like any other. Children turned up, got out their books and pens and began the process of learning. But now, in what's being described as a unique experiment, 60 fifth-grade pupils and a number of third-graders, will start using computers only.
The mini-laptops, which run Windows software, all have a full curriculum programmed into them. The pupils will use the computers to do all their reading and writing. Security systems within the laptops mean the children's access to the internet is strictly controlled. The machines weigh less than a kilogram, can be dropped from a height of 1.5 metres and are waterproof.
Instead of spending the equivalent of 700 dollars a year on books, the laptops, built by the Italian company Olidata, cost less than 400 dollars. One of the teachers involved in the scheme says that, for the first time, schools will be able to verify in a scientific way how a computer alone can improve the learning process. The experiment, which has the backing of parents, is due to last a year.