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Friday, March 09, 2007

Resources, Resources, Resources

Twice since giving a presentation about different technological tools to use in the writing process teachers have mentioned that they don't have the resources to do what I was suggesting. First I would like to mention that other than a computer with an internet connection and the software that is provided by the district, no other pieces of hardware are required.

More importantly, however, is the mind set that immediately finds the obstacles. I will grant that projectors and SmartBoards are hard to come by in our district, but a long waiting list is the first bit of evidence we need to build the case for more funding. Most board members and citizens would be appalled if they were informed that we were teaching classes without current textbooks. We need to create that same mentality when it comes to other forms of hardware and software.

With out concrete examples of what can be done with technology those who can control the budget will assume that it can be done WITHOUT technology. There is evidence that IQs are rising and some prominent scholars have suggested that it is due to media exposure and literacy. What is IQ other than a measure of our problem solving and pattern recognizing abilities? Technology manifoldly increase the means of solving problems and the ability to recognize patterns helps quickly adapt to new technologies.

A pattern that frequently occurs in this district is the gap. The achievement gap. The digital divide. Why are African-American students consistently scoring lower than their white counterparts? I maintain that it is constant mindset of remediation that hurts these students. Through the use of technology we can show the students the power of the media. A demonstration of power of the Web 2.0 would serve as a powerful reminder that we come to school for more than credits and a diploma. We come so that we may influence the world.

So if we truly are world-class the we need to have a world audience and we need to be taught by the global community. The second have of this motto is "Where all means all." I'll admit that this caused some confusion at first. However, I would like to think of this as more than a motivational cry for No Child Left Behind. I think the all means the entire population of minds on this planet; a population that can be brought to our classrooms through technology.

1 comment:

Colette said...

I am amazed at what you can do with just Microsoft Word. "Track Changes" has changed the way I grade papers in my AP class (no pun intended).

We complain that the kids are full of excuses, but the truth is, adults rely on them pretty heavily as well.

I also think teacher use of technology is lot like our usage of the human brain. We probably only work it to 10% of it's total capacity.