I’m almost finished reading Disrupting Class but keep being distracted by a bunch of other good things that have been on my “to read” list.
I thought this article might interest you. In fact the whole site www.educationnext.org is outstanding. Paul Raville wrote a letter in the summer issue so I assume it has his attention. I don’t agree with this entire article, especially when it states that teachers will fight technology, but I’m behind the essence of it. In Arlington, teachers are desperate for technology. We have been raising money to get smart boards through bake sales, etc. I was at a workshop in Weston High last week where they actually had an up-to-date Mac Computer lab just for languages!!!! All of their teachers have laptops and the teachers from Watertown said they all have them too. Technology works only when you have it and Arlington is a very long way from having it. The students who have the equipment and really know how to use it for something other than gaming, are not the ones who need it. The rest of them have to be explicitly taught how to use technology as a learning tool. For my students, I have to teach them how to learn in general first.
Bill Gates is working on, among other things, an online service that all teachers can use to share materials and best practices. I’ve been trying to get Arlington or even just Ottoson to use a mini local version of such a database for years. Josh Lobel helped me set up a trial site but it never got administrative or technology support. I’m working on a Moodle Site and hoping to get other teachers involved but it’s on my own server, not APS and I’m afraid of losing people’s work because I’m not back-end savvy enough.
[posted on Mary Cumming’s behalf by wb]