We can’t overestimate the value of computers, iPods, and other various forms of technology. Yes, they are all great for playing games and forwarding funny emails, but isn't real work still done on paper?

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I'm with you on your observations, and I applaud your kind actions in donating equipment to the schools! I've also seen the other side of the spectrum where technology-rich schools are rarely using their Smartboards or other available technologies to their full potential. Of course, the reasons are complex and vary across the board, but I do find it perplexing when I think of the learning opportunities unrealized! What do you do that enables you to visit and speak with teachers across the country? That sounds very interesting! I'd be interested to hear what they say about technology in their classrooms!
Dear Cheska,

I am merely a retailer of Audio Visual products, an EdTech group of products.

I visit local schools to demonstrate equipment. This gives me an opportunity to talk to teachers and admisnstrators.
I receive phone calls from across the nation daily. I like to enrich my conversations with teachers beyond the mundane sale and delivery. I find it more interesting to learn about the person, their school, and their community.
If a teacher needs something and cannot afford it, I'll dig around and send it to them, especially if it will directly benefit a child in need. I won't go into details, I enjoy helping when I can.

Recent study commissioned by the USA Department of Education said online education was equal to or better than traditional but that blended was best. The study was done for post-secondary because the researchers felt they did not have sufficient data from K-12. Soon education will be individually programmed for all learners. At the moment we have arbitrary barriers to learning. We put people in classrooms by age as if everyone learns at the same pace. With individual programing each learner goes at their own speed and is tested after viewing each module. If they have do not pass the test they can repeat the test up to 3 times. The fourth time it will be presented in a different context. It should not matter if a learner graduates from HS at 12 or 22 or 82. If in doubt, all students should be able to start the process at any point and continue their journey.
I get it! You just woke up after sleeping for 50 years. Millions of things get done each hour by computers with no paper involved at all. Each time you use a credit card a computer decides if you have enough in your account to cover the purchase. You get a paper receipt along with whatever you purchase. I do not know how long it will be until we eliminate that written receipt and you get the transaction sent directly to your email. The technology is available but there is probably some law there that helps keep the paper pushers in business.
Will students really be doing their career work on paper? My handwriting has suffered because I never write on paper; it is always typing, texting or tweeting! The viewpoints from educators on the 'value of technology' posted here in this community are priceless. However, have you considered this debate from the students' point of view? This YouTube video has, and offers some interesting insights. For example, one student estimated that in one year, she read eight books, 2,300 Web pages and 1,281 Facebook profiles. Another said she wrote 42 pages for class per semester, and 500 pages of e-mail in that same time period. Is this a sign of the times? Are we preparing these students for their futures? They will most likely have jobs that are not yet created thanks to technology.

My bet is in 10 years or less, speech to text will have exploded and the need to type will even be headed out...I'm talking day to day tasks for EVERYONE. So... how many speaking classes are being offered at everyone's schools?
I heard this same thing 10 years ago. I remember in 93-94 when I first played with speech recognition, I thought almost the same thing. At least for commands, as i was using it in Dos and was able to give it most dos commands. One of the problems that I see with it, is can you imagine all the noise that would be created if everyone was talking at whatever device? And how private of a message you could leave? Whether people want to believe it or not, until technology can read your thoughts, there will always be a place for the keyboard. Whether it is a physical or virtual one is another story. Not that speaking classes are such a bad idea though!
Hey Paul,

The only application that I have come across is those wonderful voice resonse systems on phone answering programs. They work pretty well, I get so disgusted, that I usually hang up. They work exactly as expected.

It will be quite awile before Hal opens that pod door.

Do not blame the technology for the lack of concern by company executives for customer service. Some, especially utilities, have a captive audience and understand only too well that their customers have few alternatives.
TRUE OR FALSE: Students know more about technology than teachers.

Hey Lindsey,

As a whole, talking about the whole USA in K -12, I think we can agree that if the teachers are over 30 the students are likely to be more comfortable with technology than the teacher. Under 30 the teachers are more likely to know as much or more than the students. The really big issue is getting technological access to disadvantaged youth. Not all families can afford computers and ISP.
That makes sense. Good point.



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