So much of technological changes and shifts are because of adults. As schools, particularly public schools, we try so hard to keep up with the Joneses that we abandon technology we spend millions on and didn't finish training teachers on anyway just to get the new shiny piece of equipment the other schools have. Why? There's money in attendance and part of that attendance comes from perception and reputation. I get it.
The downside to this Ed Tech arms race is that teachers and students can't effectively make use of it if they don't have the time and training to understand it. So why? How do we get better at using technology in our classrooms?
Dallas is doing a great job on some campuses at starting our students with programs like google classroom and equipment like Chrome Books and iPads at younger ages so they are comfortable with them as the continue to see the same technology later. We as a city should continue to improve student proficiency with technology.
The part that I loved from this teacher is that he only added technology when it improved instruction and comprehension. I couldn't agree more. Sometimes we throw technology in there just to say we are using it. If a kid can't read a book, he won't be able to read an article on the computer. Can it read to him? Yes, but we shouldn't be looking at technology as a replacement, but a tool, a supplement for preexisting strong instruction. I think some schools and school districts miss the point on that question. Adding tech isn't just going to automatically improve instruction. It may increase student engagement in the short term, but if the teacher isn't able to use the technology effectively but can teach effectively with a book, then penalizing that teacher isn't, in my mind, a good strategy. Instead, it would make more sense to work with that teacher to continue to be effective while coaching them over time to translate that into a more updated model.
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