I am currently a junior at the University of South Alabama. My major is Elementary Education / Special Education K-6. I'm excited about teaching and want to gather as much information and advice as I can before I graduate. One of my main interests is technology in the classroom.
I would really love to read some non vendor and non vendor supported papers on this subject. IE: If its a Microsoft, etc then they have an interest in selling to schools, so where is the independence.
I believe Technology is a great thing, but we need to make sure its for all the right reasons and managed properly. I recently read that Finland is at the top in K-12 Education. How do we compare the very large and diverse US society with Finland who has a population I believe somewhere in the 3 to 5 million.
Some things to note: Teaching is a prestigious career in Finland,The educational system's success seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.Finland also has low levels of immigration. So when pupils start school the majority have Finnish as their native language, eliminating an obstacle that other societies often face. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8601207.stm
As to technology and why - I would submit. Allow me to take your car away and give you the Amish horse and buggy. Yes you could get there, but it sure would take you a long time. Technology and the internet allows students and teachers to access the entire world quickly. The fact that you are on this site also suggests that you do not live in a technologically devoid world. integrating technology into education is relevant because it is an increasing tool necessary for life.
Great question Darlene, While I'm in K-12, I'm not a teacher. however as a data security analyst I constantly see a push for more Technology. However I believe it needs to be carefully blended with a good teachers, curriculum and parental involvement. Our District is a high preforming school District but we don't have a 1:1 computer ratio. I'm not sure how many Districts do. However mobile devices are changing this. Not only for Schools but for industry. We are in the process of providing more access via wireless and allowing personal ipods and iphones to help bridge the less than 1:1 computing ratio. Will it make us better? Only time will tell.