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Viewpoints

'Make It Stop' and 'The Water Bed Effect'

In a recent survey, we learned that, among other things, our readers are interested in the longer-term trends in education: Not just what's on the horizon in terms of the latest technology, but the impact it will have on education and the larger society. Appropriately, the most recent T.H.E. Journal has a couple of good pieces about just that.

Recently T.H.E. Journal conducted a survey of its readers, attempting to get a gauge of what they want from us and how we can help them do their jobs better. The results were perhaps not too surprising: It turns out that news about the latest technologies that can benefit the process of learning and how teachers in their classrooms and technology professionals in their districts can implement that technology is what readers want most. That was good news, because it aligns with what our primary intention has always been: To help educators do the best job they can to prepare students for the future.

We also learned that our readers are interested in the longer-term trends in educational technology as well: Not just what's on the horizon in terms of the latest things, but the impact technology is having on education and the larger society. Appropriately, the most recent T.H.E. Journal has a couple of good pieces about just that.

In an Our Space column titled "Make It Stop!" Editorial Director Therese Mageau talks about a recent trend--to say the least--in the mainstream media that attempts to disparage the use of technology in the classroom. Technology is a tool, Mageau points out, just as a pencil or a pen is and to make sweeping generalizations of its merits seems a bit beside the point.

In the same issue, Geoffrey H. Fletcher, Mageau's predecessor as T.H.E. editorial director and now deputy executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, discusses "The Water Bed Effect in K-12 Education," describing all the forces at work as technology becomes more ubiquitous in education--the shifts in content and assessment, changes in the way professional development is delivered, and the reach of technology infrastructure. All these very dynamic forces affect each other, even though we sometimes think of them as in isolation.

But these are just thumbnail descriptions of what Mageau and Fletcher have to say. You can read the details for yourselves in the current issue of T.H.E. Journal.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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