In 1995, David Tyack and Larry Cuban published a book entitled,
Tinkering toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform
. In this book they argued that while numerous innovations had occurred within the American public school system during the Twentieth Century, most of these innovations had occurred around the edges. Their research findings demonstrated that few meaningful changes had occurred within core teaching and learning processes.
At the beginning of the Second Decade of the Twenty First Century, I'd suggest that numerous technological innovations have occurred that could tremendously influence the teaching and learning process, not enough attention has been paid to supporting teachers in learning how to use these technological widgets and applications. On a day to day basis, teachers don't care whether or not a school system is moving towards one to one. When it comes to their daily practice, teachers don't care about the differences between one social bookmarking service and another. Too many technological evangelists promote the importance of technology for teaching and learning without providing teachers want they need.
Teachers want specific suggestions as to how to use the widgets and applications that they have available to promote effective learning within their classrooms. Given the fact that they have between twenty five and forty students sitting in front of them, teachers aren't concerned with macro-issues. They want to know how technology can support learning of the very specific standards and objectives that they are covering.
Educational resource specialists, professional development experts, and publishing companies have the responsibility to support classroom teachers in their very real need for assistance in connecting technology to today's learning.