I’m unsure how many of you are following this, but Slate Magazine has been running articles about education and technology. I have a passing interest, so I’m reading.

Here are the links!

from Slate:

and from The Chronicle:

My favorite quotes from Robert Talbert of The Chronicle are:

“The first, and most common, error is failing to distinguish between technology and the instructional practices that use it

and

Technology neither improves or diminishes learning. It’s the instructional design choices made and instructional practices used by individual teachers with individual students that do this

Wow. Just.Wow. I love it when smarter people than me are saying the same thing I said. It makes me feel either validated or slow on the uptake, but it is worth repeating.

We NEED more reliable and current tech in the classroom! We have auditory learners, visual learners, yada yada. Too much tech and a teacher who stinks and can’t get a handle on these “computer things” makes a terrible learning experience.
Then again, a teacher who gluts their kids on the SMARTBoards and Youtube Videos makes another error; the kids go into “passive TV Watching” mode and they don’t absorb anything. Why? Because they aren’t using their brains..no cognition, just absorption. Hell, paper towels can do that!

If we want to change how we learn, we need to change how we teach. It’s that simple. Maybe “tried and true” isn’t anymore. Maybe as out teachers become more tech-friendly (and we just STOP cutting costs for the people who maintain the educational equipment and realize that they are as important as the textbooks) we might make some headway.

But a crappy teacher with a $1000 projector is doing only two things: hurting our kids and advancing the electrical bill.

My daughter’ education is worth more than that, so I partner with the school to educate her. Sometimes tech is the way. Maybe a Khan Academy video if she thinks she needs it. YouTube (sometimes), but I really think the best path for her when she gets stuck is to just put the tech away and sit with Dad (or Teacher) and just go through it. An open-ended conversation and really dig in to understand her viewpoint. The difference between “huh?” and “a-HA!” for a child can be as simple as a word that will change how they view something.

When it comes down to education, I admit, I hold her hand a bit more than I should…but that’s so she doesn’t make rabbit shadows from the light coming from the projector (she IS my kid!)

Seriously, read the articles and think for yourself. If you REALLY want to know how electronics affect the classroom..ask your kid.

It just might be as powerful as a SMARTBoard.

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