I just got off the phone with a colleague who had returned from a business trip. After visiting with various school districts, she presented remedial reading products to a school board in an affluent suburban school district. When she finished presenting the need for her product, the school board member asked, "Why are you bothering to build remedial reading products when there are so many kids who are performing in the middle of the pack?"
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN; http://www.cosn.org) recently released a report titled Collaboration in K-12 Schools: Anywhere, Anytime, Any Way. I helped produce the report as a volunteer member of CoSN’s Emerging Technology Committee, and will use it as the basis for my column.
In conducting research on America’s digital schools this past year, I found a major shortfall between budgeted bandwidth and the estimated need for bandwidth.
It’s necessary in this era of accountability for teachers to have a classroom site, and to post their pages among those of the school or district site. The name of the school or district and its logo should appear on all pages to provide evidence of an official connection and a unifying element among all teachers’ sites at the school. Unfortunately, I don’t always see this.
In the world of education technology, we are often guilty of preaching to the choir—the believers who know in their hearts (and now more often with data) that technology can improve teaching and learning.
Sometimes I wonder if we (educators) will ever really use technology for what it should be used for. Yes, I know there are great examples of schools and teachers doing wonderful things. But I contend that when we take a broad view of how technology is being used, we see a lot of PowerPoint and electronic textbooks. Ouch!
Steven Paine, superintendent of education for West Virginia, recently mentioned at a conference that West Virginia requires 18 hours of professional development time for teachers every year.
Why bother with a printed textbook? Adopting an e-text seems like a no-brainer when you consider the potential advantages of learning in a multimedia environment that can be tailored to the needs of all learners.
As the new school year starts, many technologists and curriculum directors are waiting with bated breath to see if and how much of E2T2 (Enhancing Education Through Technology) federal funding will be restored by Congress.
Interactive whiteboards are replacing chalkboards in many districts across the country. Could your district be next? You better hope so.