Thursday, June 5, 2008

Classroom Tech Initiative

In doing my web 2 assignment I came across this on you-tube Coming across the video on Pennsylvania's new technology initiative this week was interesting to me for a few reasons: I started subbing in a new school district that is far different from the inner city district where I completed my student teaching. When I walked into the room I was subbing in here were laptop computers on each desk, while at my student teaching placement I was lucky to get access to the school's lone computer lab. This really got me thinking about equity in technology in schools and the video was not explicit about how this initiative would solve for problems of resource equity in school districts. Through discussion in my integrating technology and social studies class we had a very interesting discussion about the negative aspects of technology in the classroom. For starters, simply adding more technology to the classroom does not make learning in the classroom more relevant, engaging, or creative. That is the job of the teacher. After watching the video I feel state officials in PA are falling into the same trap. There was little to no mention of how districts would help teachers or students use these new technologies now at their fingertips. I feel this is a huge, often ignored, mistake. The video initiative spoke little about the impact technology could have in the social studies classroom. Examples focused on math and science, two of the subjects American students are the most "behind" in. I feel this is just another sign of social studies education being lost in American education at present. With little focus and effort going to improving social studies education its absence is not surprising here. Overall, I feel that PA's initiative is a positive first step. However, and maybe this is due to lack of research, but one cannot simply ignore the teacher's role in technologically advanced classroom. Classes like I am in are a start, but this fact needs to be further recognized by teachers, administrators, and education and other political officials.

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