Just some thoughts on computers.

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I totally agree that we need technology education in the lower grades in the form of a explicit technology lessons. We have already written that into the media curriculum starting in grade 2. (We will probably plan this summer to start earlier). Aimee Masters at Dawes is implementing that curriculum. At Jordan we are a little bit in flux since Mrs. Ward left in December.

However, I do not agree that there is not enough time to technology lesson in daily classroom schedule. A balanced technology program includes both explicit instruction (through the media specialist) and meaningful technology integration from the classroom teacher. Technology should not take the place of content area curricular goals. Instead technology should be employed as a tool to help students meet those goals. Even in the lower grade levels, the pod of four computers and center activities provides teachers the opportunity to integrate technology. In addition, most teachers have laptop/projector setups and this also allows for integration. Finally, there are projects that could be coordinated with the media specialist for use of that laptop cart and we do have the capabilities for distance learning which some elementary teachers already took part in. Do I agree we need more, yes! I always think we could use more. However, we can't let needing more the reason we don't use what we have.
Great points. The $$$ issue can be solved by a change in philosophy. To solve the equity issue a philosophical change is also needed. All new teachers need to be tech savvy and all others need to be trained to meet a minimal level of proficiency. Their are requirements to become a teacher but does it include a large enough technology component?

I know popular theory suggest that students learn better using technology for a meaningful purpose but does this require a technology class or can it be accomplished with pods and tech savvy teachers? Equity is always and issue! Is it fair for one student to learn technology from a tech savvy teacher while another student in the same grade suffers at the hands of a teacher who shuns technology?

These are hard questions! I always feel like there is a mixed message when it comes to computers, on one hand we are inundated with statistics about Globalization, changing job markets, digital information, yada, yada, yada.... but at the same time we are told that this earth changing technology can be absorbed by younger people while they learn other subjects. If technology is as revolutionary as we say then isn't it class worthy.
I've been in many instructional tech classes were it is suggested that tech should not be taught as a separate subject. Instead it is another tool, just like chalk! However, occasionally a group session is needed for a specific tech skill. Also, I've had students whose tech savy parents are on the computer so much that the kids never get on... believe me, it's true!
Chalk can't analyze a strand of DNA. Mary, we always here the argument that computers should be used like a pencil or chalk. I always thought that was such a sill analogy. To use a pencil, put graphite point on paper, move your hand to to create. There are your instructions for a pencil. Computers require a little more instruction. Pencil to paper is marginally more sophisticated than cave paintings, Possessing strong computer skills, at very least, requires dynamic learning (Computers evolve daily) , strong reading skills and constant hands on use.
Einstein handled chalk rather well!
It's all in the hands of the user.
So true.
Two thirds of the world's population does not even have electricity let alone computers and cellular devices. True globalization does not exist in the real world. In the western or so called civilized world that is another story. Being a true champion of injustice, I felt a need to promote cultural compassion. Now about Globalization, what i am trying to say is that we should not need a fancy word or a published author to convince us of the importance of computers and technology. Sure some people will always resist change and learning but the beauty of technology is in its BLOB like life. The ability to consume everything in its path so that you even the most technology resistant person must acquiesce. My dad uses a computer and knows how to use a cell phone, not because he wanted to but because he had to, in order to exit in today's world. Once technology become ubiquitous we all use it no training necessary.

You are right about many things such as the job market. I think that something like 7 of the 20 fastest growing job markets would not even exist without computers. What we really need and should do is teach our children to work and think within a technology framework. This is what my graduate studies impressed upon me. The program, the computer the assignment and the curriculum do not matter. Thinking, using, producing and ultimately problem solving are what really matter. These are the skills that our children need. Teach them something, put them in lab with the right equipment, a little direction and see what they can produce.

I have little ones yelling for ice cream so I must go.
technology... broad term, perhaps becoming a bit over used, like the word "amazing"...regardless, the use of technology should be seen as a means to an end, that is to expedite, enhance, and fascilitate "physical" contact/interaction...problems stem from replacing the goal of human contact with machine interface... the world wide web is a great place to travel and visit, but no place to "live"... having said that, I sing the praises of any teacher that use the tools that technology provides to broaden a students learning experience by expanding their informational resources and means to communicate; there is no disputing that... however, the jury is still out with respect to how that information, once procured is processed and utilized by students, (anyone in the military can tell you, technology plays a tremendous role on the battlefield, but you still need "boots on the ground"... content is top priority, a brilliant teacher with a book trumps a "tech savy" educator with no area of expertise... combine brilliant teachers with "tech savy" skills and now you're talking...until then there is an awful lot of opportunity for "smoke and mirrors" and gimmicky educational jargon and fads that do precious little to contribute significantly to education... here in SP we have the great teachers and our new emphasis on the use of technology will augment the "tech savy" issue and can only improve our students chances for success...
"Thinking, using, producing and ultimately problem solving are what really matter. These are the skills that our children need. Teach them something, put them in lab with the right equipment, a little direction and see what they can produce"-to take a quote from you MONT.
I couldn't agree more!!!

We need to stay focused on what the students ultimately need to know and remember that we have technology to help them get there. Technology should be the means to an end and not be the end.
Interesting debate! Geez, I'm impressed with the high level of research for quotes in this group!!!

Did anyone catch the CEO of Google on Charlie Rose? He was very focused on education and the sharing of information. They think they'll be able to predict problems (such as flu outbreaks) by tracking blips or new patterns of searches. He expressed concern with the excessive number of "interrupts" in our fast moving tech world. He expressed concern for the need to take time to reflect and supported reading old fashioned books. In web design, we learned the page must load quickly and catch the attention on the top screen or the viewer clicks off in seconds. I've often witnessed it with our students. They need to be encouraged to scroll down, look around, use the find option,etc. Jen, they even mentioned "flat world" on the show.

Regarding needing 24 laptops, is it really necessary to have all students on the laptops at the same time. Why not rotate the task of researcher in your groups! Then you need 6! hmmm...sound familiar?

Regarding globalization, we may be viewing globalization differently in this "Great Recession." For example, China is being impacted more than India because China has become more reliant upon exports than India. btw, we should get use to hearing that China does more of everything (ie speak English) -- more people!



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