The majority of parents in the United States are unsatisfied with the way technology is implemented in K-12 schools. At the same time, the majority of educators say that students are more engaged in school work as a result of technology implementations and that there is a corresponding increase in student achievement, according to a new survey released this week by Project Tomorrow-NetDay....T.H.E.Journal

I tend to think that when teachers actually use some of the newer resources, they feel they are changing education. I visited a school with a Smartboard in nearly every room. Their Principal was ecstatic at how great the teachers were buying in. During my visit, I saw at least 5 power point presentations. Only one class - Foreign Lang. - was actually using the Smart tools available. No one was using collaboration :(

Using the new to do the old just won't change education.

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Comment by nlowell on March 29, 2007 at 5:18pm
I teach a grad school class made up of K-12 teachers working on their master's degrees. The teachers were in a panic because they "had to use powerpoint" in their classes because it was one of the items on the evaluation about "integrating technology into their practice."

It didn't matter if it was a good use of the tool. The requirement was that they use it whether it made sense or not.

I've seen Smartboards. $2000 buys a lot of flipcharts and markers and then everybody could play instead of just a few.

'M jes' sayin' ... maybe I just haven't seen a really good application of the technology yet.
Comment by Sharon Betts on March 29, 2007 at 5:28pm
I saw a teacher use Google Earth with overlays from student Gimp drawings (and other free hand notes added on the board). Class discussion points were recorded live in Smart Notepad, saved and pasted into their wiki by a student. This was done on an interactive white board and recorded for those absent. The wiki and recording were then available after class. This teacher knew his stuff.
Comment by Barbara on March 29, 2007 at 7:16pm
You have to start somewhere. I think sometimes doing old things in new ways gives teachers the courage to
wade out into deeper water. If grad students have never made a power point and do not know the basic rules of thumb for good power point presentations they will have trouble getting to the kind of class Sharon described.

I guess I am saying you have to walk before your run. The problem in my opinion lies more with leadership and modeling. As an administrator I push the envelope with my teachers but I also recognize they are truly "digital immigrants" Therefore I celebrate the student and teacher power points but only as a stepping stones. I salute the new ideas, like the podcast coupled with a google movie as part of the cultural fair. Do I hope for/ have a vision for more...yes but it doesn't happen overnight. They are starting to use wikis and blogs and even making connections with the global community. Could it be more seamless? Yes...Do I wish it looked like the class Sharon described...of course! But it is still early and the vision we "geeks" have requires a more web 2.0 literate nlowell... help us out with the newbies and we will do our part with those already in service!
Comment by nlowell on March 29, 2007 at 10:15pm
Excellent points, Barbara.

I *do* get impatient. We're running out of time and some days it seems like I hear every grain in the hourglass fall.
Comment by Sharon Betts on March 31, 2007 at 5:23am
Thank you for your post, Barbara. I agree. I try to look at the progression as adopting, enhancing, transforming. What I hate is to see so many people in the adopting and enhancing area really believing they are transforming. Great administrative models are difficult to find for many reasons (time being one) - they do make all the difference. We need to look at education in a different way (the 2.0 way?) to allow for transformation. The present 8-4 time slotted assembly lines in 99% of schools with all the required paperwork and testing are detrimental to our goals.
Comment by Barbara on April 1, 2007 at 9:33am
Sharon you have articulated it well. I like the stages you allude to adopting, enhancing, transforming. I think I will talk with my staff about this and try to define them. I am doing a poster session at NECC and I will use them in that context also so that it is clear that our project is about adopting and enhancing in order to move to transformation.
Thanks again..this really helps clarify my thinking!
Comment by Sharon Betts on April 1, 2007 at 2:19pm
Thanks Barbara - hope to meet you in person at NECC.
Comment by Barbara on April 2, 2007 at 7:11pm
That would be great...are you going to the bloggers meetup
Comment by Sharon Betts on April 3, 2007 at 5:39pm
Couldn't get off soon enough for that (darn) - I will get there on Sunday. It should seem like old home week with all these new names on my list.


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