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

Monday, May 10, 2010

Technology is common thread

Technology keeps showing me that it is the common thread in successful teachers and schools. On any given day, I find more than one article about how technology is the key to some success in a teacher or in a school. We have plenty of models of how technology is the key ingredient in success. Consider these three articles.

The most recent Teacher of the Year was praised by President Obama as a 21st Century teacher. Wessling has found a way to use facebook in her classes. She uses podcasting to communicate. She understands how a class should be learner centric and applies that pedagogy to make her scholars producers. The results are good as we hear from the scholars, their parents and others including the president. She has made her classroom transparent and technology was how she did it.

Success in schools across the country can be attributed to technology use increasing in schools. The ratio of technology to scholar is an impressive 3.1 to 1. Support staff on a district level is a high 89% and in the schools close to 50%. Now we need more professional learning and more teacher webpages or web presence.

Finally in a Pittsburgh school district they hired a coach to teach technology skills to the staff in the schools. A former technology teacher now prepares teachers around the district.

Before our reorganization in NYC, we had lots of technology coaches. Now we don't have any. We have certainly had a "dark ages" in education especially as it pertains to technology use in our classrooms during the W years. The whole direction of education was set back a hundred years after Clinton and Gore got us rolling. We have to recover not only those lost eight years, but reset our mind-think about how education should function in the 21st Century. I have said it before, technology is the panacea and I think we are seeing more of this idea being adopted by others as well. The next big step is that educational policy actually incorporates technology as other 21st Century businesses and organizations do. Heck the scholars are more 21st Century than their schools.

In the years I have used technology in CyberEnglish, all of this is not new to me. In fact I have found myself paring down. I'd like to get back into the Moodle frame of mind, especially for more Virtual School applications. I'm still a firm advocate for my scholars writing their HTML for their webpages and for publishing their work online. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Ning and some of these new social network apps are cool, but not a backbone for a classroom. I still haven't found anything better than the webpage. It is all about using the technology and being transparent and 21st Century in a profession that insists on being early 20th Century.

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