November 2010

SPECIAL FEATURE:

Tablet-based Textbooks! Syndicated Online Teachers! Ed Tech Leaders forecast what The Digital Revolution will bear next.


Cover Story

SPECIAL FEATURE| Tech Roundtable

2020 Vision: Experts Forecast What the Digital Revolution Will Bring Next

Directors of the federal Office of Educational Technology both past and present—as well as a range of ed tech leaders nationwide—predict what the digital revolution has in store for the next decade, while taking account of its impact to date. Plus: a timeline of learning technologies


Features

FEATURE | virtualization

Taking the Plunge: Districts Leap Into Virtualization

Virtual computing can take some getting used to. Three districts that have made the leap from conventional desktop PCs offer firsthand advice.

By Jennifer Demski


Departments

gFletcher4CtArticles

Our Space

A Look Behind, a Step Ahead

By Geoffrey H. Fletcher


Wireles Technololgy

Use It or Lose It: What To Do with Your Wireless Spectrum

Your unused wireless spectrum is in jeopardy of being repossessed next spring. Leasing it is your best option.

By Wendy Chretien


Comments

Tue, Feb 22, 2011 Tom Boyle Tampa, FL

IT departments do not impede the use of technology in the classroom. On the contrary, there has never been more support. Perhaps, Anonymous works for the one school district in the country where this is so. In my district, Hillsborough County (Tampa), FL, every middle and high school has a full-time tech resource. Elementary sometimes have a part-time but always have district support. I am one of those at a middle school. We are experienced and we are (were) teachers so we are skilled in maintaining the equipment and assisting teachers with its integration. We have a half-dozen text books that are digital and more each year. With the digital textbook, teachers, and students through “smart” technology, interact with the pages. Activities are now embedded in every page. Every classroom at our school has at least one computer, a document camera and an LCD projector. We usually have two-three computer labs of 24 computers each. Many have interactive white boards, many have digitizer tablets. Next year, we expect a substantial number of tablet devices to come our way for student use. By the way, this is not some Hollywood mega-rich school. We are an inner-city school with 90 percent free and reduced lunch (Title 1). Do we block Youtube? You bet! Maybe Anonymous temporarily forgot what kind of content abounds on Youtube. We don’t block TeacherTube and thousands of other websites that not only are safe for children but are jam-packed with learning content. We can unlock useful sites after review. Oh, if you report it to me I fix it within a day or it is a bigger problem and goes on to the district. Hillsborough County Florida is not only one of the most financially stable districts in the country but is a model for others technologically. If a tool has been developed to enhance learning, some group of teachers is tasked with investigating it and recommending on its adoption. Some roadblocks, like some computer problems, are “between the keyboard and the chair.”

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