Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Let's get freaky with Ed Tech

HI All,

Ok, that was a bizarre title but I just finished the book Freakonomics. You are going to want to want this book. I haven't been this intrigued since I read Tipping Points! Do I agree with everything I read in the book? No. But it is the the approach that dictates that you question conventional wisdom that I love!

We may all assume things about educational technology that are wrong, simply because it has been said a lot and it is a comfortable conclusion. We need to figure out what these things are and start thinking differently.

We also need to start thinking about unconventional connections to the topic of ed tech and student achievement. For example, we always relate free and reduced lunch to test scores or the way in which tech is used with kids in schools. What if started asking stranger questions? What if asked about the relationship of appropriate ed tech use in a school to things like the amount of team planning that exists or the way it is used? Or the connection to the existence of an achievement gap or the number of suspensions? Or the connection to the quality of the bulletin boards or the amount of on task behavior in class?

You see what I'm getting at? If you don't, you will after reading Freakonomics. I say we all start getting freaky and find the unconventional wisdom that will improve our use of ed tech with kids.

Jim :-)


Judith Comfort said...

I'd like to see someone do a study of the correlation between the time children spend looking at reality through a screen "lens" (whether computer, television, any projected media screen, small or large) AND the development of their capacity for imaginative thought and creativity, and also what kind of creativity.

Jim Forde said...

That is a great question. My son, who is a video gamer and watches a fair amount of TV, also likes creating music with his band and recording in Garage Band. Informally, I don't think that his consumption of Sesame Street videos has hurt his creative streak. Unless, of course, all of his compositions start to sound like "C is for cookie that's good enough for me"!

Jim :-)