Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

From the article:
To be sure, test scores can go up or down for many reasons. But to many education experts, something is not adding up — here and across the country. In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.
This conundrum calls into question one of the most significant contemporary educational movements. Advocates for giving schools a major technological upgrade — which include powerful educators, Silicon Valley titans and White House appointees — say digital devices let students learn at their own pace, teach skills needed in a modern economy and hold the attention of a generation weaned on gadgets.....more..."
Wow! What a title and story. It really opens up some debate for the validity of using computer technology to assist teaching- how much bang does it give for the buck? Especially when teachers are losing jobs and money spent on technology could be used for teachers. I like to present many sides to a story or issue. I would be mis-informed if I weren't. But to be honest, I am biased towards using technology in education. I wouldn't be in the line of work that I am in if I weren't :-)

One interesting paragraph, read:
"There are times in Kyrene when the technology seems to allow students to disengage from learning: They are left at computers to perform a task but wind up playing around, suggesting, as some researchers have found, that computers can distract and not instruct."

The key point I want to make is that the author writes that computers are to "instruct"...I would argue that computers should not be instructing- people should. Technology should be assisting in the process. Technology does not make a bad teacher good. Just the opposite in fact- it can make a bad teacher worse. No computer can replace a teacher and the human interaction. But technology can enhance the teaching process and engage students and take them places where an overhead projector and chalk cannot. In the modern world, communication and business are done electronically, and students have to be prepared to do this when they join the world after graduating high school.