Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sticking a fork in it!

My response to Jeff from the economist sums up six years of watching nothing happen.

Hey Jeff,

I am sorry for my lack of response to the Economist feature on ed tech. I am back in the classroom My Blog after finishing up an MS in ed tech and am more disillusioned than ever about the role of ed tech in US schools.

I am on the verge of comletely bagging as it has made 0.0% impact on the field and has generated nothing but usless blather on the topic to no measureable effect.

I plan on using my limited energy to be the best science teacher I can be for my city public school students and to my (embarressing) song writing. Click here for horrifying sounds.

Oh well..... The dark side wins.

Jim Forde for the last time.
Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless

-----Original Message-----
From: "Jeff Koo"
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2007 16:03:03
Subject: Economist Debate Series. The votes are in.

Hi Jim –

If you haven’t checked out The Economist Debate series on education, you might want to do so today as The Economist has just declared
the winner: . After two weeks of debating on the proposition, “the continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education” the audience has voted and the winner is “con” with 56 percent of total votes for rejecting the proposition.

In his closing statement, Dr. Robert Kozma, Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at SRI International acknowledges “that educational systems are notoriously slow to change” but urges readers to vote for him to as he believes that “technology is making a positive difference in education.” To illustrate his point, Kozma cites numerous anecdotes from teachers he’s he’s met in Uganda, Chile, Catalonia, Norway and the Philippines where technology is making an impact in the classroom.

Also of note are statements by featured guest participants:

· “Too often technology is simply used to pretty up teaching yet, as many contributors have noted, technology may increase the reach of a poor teacher but it will not improve the quality of their teaching.” - Sir
John Daniel: , President and CEO of The Commonwealth of Learning

· “The lesson for the United States and other countries… is to eventually find a balance between innovation and accountability. That should be everyone’s destination, because that is the point at which educational technology is likely to have its greatest impact.”- Kevin
Bushweller: , Executive Editor, Education Week

· “It is not surprising to me that some of the failures of technology have occurred when schools have tried to substitute it for teaching” - Linda
Darling Hammond: , Professor of Education, Stanford University

· “I’m also concerned with the metrics by which we judge the quality of education in this century.” - Don
Knezek: , CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

Our next debate will be held December 10th. The proposition will be on national competitiveness: should governments and universities everywhere be competing to attract and educate all qualified students regardless of nationality and residence?

Look forward for more details on the launch in early December.




Brandon Waggoner said...

I'm sorry to hear that. While I'm still a proponent of Ed Tech, I found your postings insightful and educational. Everything we do as educators must have a degree of measure in it: deliberate and intentional. You brought the bridles along for the ride. The lone dissenting voice, even if it feels abandoned in the wilderness, can still be heard and taken seriously.

Thanks for your great blog.

Alan Warhaftig said...

I have to disagree about the impact of A lot of people looked in on the site, and what they found was thoughtful discussion on an emerging issue. Teachers are so busy with what's in front of them, juggling work and life, constantly meeting deadlines, that they often aren't very good at seeing downstream pitfalls and possibilities. was one of the few educational technology sites that wasn't simply a vendor-influenced cheerleader. You allowed "mavens" like me to reach an audience of educators interested in thinking about technology in education - both from a policy perspective and to improve their personal teaching practice.

I think you underestimate the influence you've had - and how impossible it was to win the debate when vendors had retained so many shills (I won't name names).

I hope you'll keep the site up so that others can stumble upon it, and I wish you the very best whatever you decide.

Freddie Sirmans said...

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