Wednesday, October 26, 2005

HI All,

On the following statement prompted a response from me. PLace your reaction below! (or better yet at the link I am providing at Ed Week)

The Article

Laptops, Internet access, scanners, and video cameras can help teachers and students access information and resources quickly and easily. Digital imagery, PowerPoint presentations, and microphones create fun, interactive classrooms.

But access and ease do not equal knowledge and comprehension, according to Peter N. Berger in his Oct. 26 Education Week Commentary. In the midst of all the educational technology hype, Berger writes that we have lost sight of the basics of learning and teaching.

How effective is cutting-edge equipment in improving actual achievement? Behind all the bells and whistles, does hi-tech gear really help students learn? Tell us what you think.

I posted in response...

Hi All,

This conversation NEVER changes. (See Larry Cuban's body of work.) The bottom line always has to do with the way in which educational technology is being used to transform classroom learning. Too often technology is used to confirm and "slicken up" old ways of doing things. Jeopardy style games and blue tooth clickers (and such) are NOT what kids need. A curriculum, and related technology tools, that allow them to work in a constructivist manner and a group of teachers who are aware of technology's "power-pointless" pit-falls is what the doctor ordered!

IMHO......Jim Forde of


Diane Bennett said...

Check out a book in response to Larry Cuban's Oversold and Underused. The book title, How to Ensure EdTech Is Not Oversold and Underused, by Scarecrow Press (2003). It will give you stories of nine schools who are counteracting that theory in ways that are achieving results. For technology used in constructivist ways, check out and review the 12 best practice lessons from many content areas (9-12). You will find everything including the most important thing: student work, the results of the power of technology.

Jim Forde said...

Excellent Diane,

I wasn't aware of the title! I'll be sure to get it to today.

Thanks for stopping by and for providing this important info on the book and web site.

Jim :-)

Jim Forde said...

The posting continued with Lee posting.....

Response From: Lee/Educator
11/09/2005 9:50AM

Glad to see weigh in a positive way in regards to this discussion - some of the editorializing articles at the site trash the very idea of technology in the classroom. And while I agree that sound curricular practices should be part of the drive in establishing technological "need", ask yourselves this: how have you been posting to this discussion? Shouldn't students be able to participate in similar fashion to discussions, blogs, wikis, cooperative shared document creation, etc., etc.? This is REALITY these days, folks - get used to it.

I responded....

Hey Lee,

I agree that using technology in this way, by having students passionately defend their ideas within a structured blog-like environement, is a great idea. I imagine my eigth grader being able to debate issues in the role of a colonist in this way, or defending environmental policies etc. But is this what he is currently doing with the available technology? Short answer...NO.

This is why I think the articles that question appropriate uses of technology need to be looked at and reacted to by ed tech enthusiasts. (The site shoulod really be called

Believe me when I say I enjoy the idea of ed tech in the classroom. I used to run a "hypercard" club and was the first to use level III laserdisc programming in my school. Can you say "old school"?

Thanks Lee (and all) for a great posting(s) and for caring enough to continue the conversation.

Jim -->

Jim Forde said...

ps--- I know how to spell the words "environment" and "should" typing just stinks!