Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Three decades of technology in our schools and . . .

Posted on: January 31, 2011

There are lots of wonderful things happening but. . . .the topic that doesn’t go away is concern about the limited number of technology based, authentic learning activities offered to students. The Nov/Dec 2010 issue of EdTechMag (edtechmag.com) from CDWG explains the situation in a brief article about a survey of 1000 teachers and students.

* Only 9% of students say tech is fully integrated in their classrooms
* 6 of 10 students say teachers regularly use technology to teach, but only 26% said they are encouraged to use it throughout the day
* 53% of teachers said they don’t conduct or unsure if they conduct any of their classes in a 21st century classroom

Teachers complain that labs are scheduled too tightly for testing to accommodate meaningful activities. Others have expressed frustration that tech classes aren’t popular or that new teachers are not using much technology in their classroom. I’ve observed a shift in an emphasis on instructional management with technology; training initiatives focus on student management systems, data analysis and student testing systems. One discussion centered on lack of interest in creating web pages, a hot interest at one time that is now a lost skill due to the pre-formatted blogs, wikis, and content management programs. With fewer media specialists in our schools there are fewer people to provide the necessary training and more important, the ideas and inspiration.

The results shared in the CDWG article are not unique; they document  need for continuing staff development in how to use technology in the classroom and with students. There’s much to do. One-on-one, small- group or building-based initiatives are still worthwhile pursuits for media specialists! Start small, build on success!


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