Response to an Article: Schools, technology, test scores and the New York Times

This is a copied response to an article dated Sept 7, 2011 on DangerouslyIrrelevant.org To see the full article with comments: http://bit.ly/qFXcbu

I am all in when it comes to providing students with multimedia projects in which they immerse themselves in the language of the particular technology, collaborate with their peers and create a product worthy to display and communicate the results. Saying that utilizing new technologies is playtime may be accurate. Do you have to hate what you are doing or be miserable during an assignment for it to be validation of learning? I think not! I will certainly agree that the educators that are using technology in the classroom need to be supported and accountable, but there is always a learning curve and to get educators up to speed, there are going to be some bumps in the road. Not every lesson, technology or otherwise is always a hit. If we stopped using technology because our lesson failed and did not satisfy the outcome we were looking for, that would be akin to giving up on a student because they “just don’t get it.” Technology is expensive and as stated above, those in who are utilizing it should be accountable for the use of it and become teacher leaders in there respective schools. There is a great network of teachers all around the world who eat, drink and sleep technology for the sake of students. These folks banter around ideas and learn from each on how to better utilize technology and attend conferences in which they further along ideas and practices that benefit students. To say there is not any research to the fact that students benefit from technology is ludicrous. Dr. Robert Marzano completed a study on the use of interactive whiteboards and responders (an overview of the outcomes can be found here: http://bit.ly/9HlRMW) and the research concluded that using interactive whiteboards increased student achievements by 16% and utilizing voting devices had a positive impact of 26%. These results did not come without parameters. It is not as simple as plugging in the interactive whiteboard and seeing the magic happen, it still requires hard work, preparation and follow through. For example, educators need to utilize visuals, follow up on any missed answers, while discussing correct answers and opinions and should not focus on to many of the bells and whistles, such as crowd applause for a correct answer. Educators, keep using the technology your school provides for you and know that you have to work hard to make it work, but in the end the results will be long lasting and prepare our students for the present and the future.

2 thoughts on “Response to an Article: Schools, technology, test scores and the New York Times

  1. P you should consider submitting this response or at least part of it to the NY Times as a letter to the editor