Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Concluding thoughts

In conclusion to 2008....

This morning I read an article about middle school choice in NYC published on December 25, 2008, "All’s Fair in the Middle School Scramble," by Elissa Gootman.

One image caught my eye, "there is a wave of panic among many parents of fifth graders facing the next step." The operative word is "panic." Parents expect chaos from their adolescents. This is an ideal point to embed technology into their academic part of their life. We know they enjoy a game and communications technological life, so why not an educational understanding and building an electronic portfolio. Use that "self" drive hormonal force inherent in our students to instill order through technology in schools. Using Technology has been a logistical nightmare in schools for many reasons. One reason is that the scholars spend too much time in the hallways.

Then I stumbled onto this image: "the pressure is more urgent because of a new retention policy that could hold back many failing eighth-graders, raising the frightening specter of hallways populated by bearded teenagers." The operative word here is "frightening." In school the scholars should go to a study area with a cluster of desks. Each desk has a computer, with a laptop or desktop, at which scholars seat themselves and begin their day by logging in to their account. This account has an accounting of where the scholar is in each part of the projects they are completing. Teachers are there electronically and in the flesh communicating with and helping the scholars create their day's study guide. Instead of the scholars moving from room to room, (a huge waste of time and a "frightening specter") they stay in their study area as teachers move from study group to study group alone and/or in collaboration with other teachers. The scholars will use their time researching, writing, and collaborating with peers to create a presentation for peer review. All of their work is being saved and archived for them to create a portfolio for assessment now and for their future teachers to use to continue their individual study and then for admission to future schools.

I know from my use with technology in schools that technology is a great cure of "panic" and "frightening specters." Where in schools do you see technology used well?

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