Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ed Tech may be the least of our issues!

Read this article by Gary Stager and let me know what you think!

School Wars

Jim :-)

Long blog

Hi All,

I am still out here! I teach science now at Scofield Magnet MS in Stamford, CT.

See my classroom blog....

I am still interested in debating the pit-falls and promise of using ed tech in schools.

Lately, I have ben finding that curricula is becoming more and more centrally controlled, at the district level. While this is a good idea, as it evens out the experience for kids throughout the district, it can limit what a creative teacher might do with ed tech. Do we all have to cover the topic the same way as long as we meet the curricular control? The answer for me, as I perceive it is "follow the curriculum as described".

What do you think about this and the impact on the potential use of ed tech?

Jim :-)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

a meaningful use of ed tech

Go to this page... (once there click on the picture)

...and watch a group of fourth graders unleashing the power of ed tech in the most meaningful way possible. There is no off the shelf corporate product or drill and kill solution that will take the place of this kind of meaningful application of technology.

Moving and motivating stuff.

Jim :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

CEO of CISCO on ed tech

Here is an interesting posting from an elite member of the corporate technology world.

Click here

Here was my reaction to the posting ..... (posted 1/23/08)

Hi Mr. chambers,

I am a working teacher in CT. I believe that due to an overwhelming testing culture, and an apparent need to address it with "kill and drill" solutions, that we are further than ever from unleashing the true potential of educational technologies for students. The movement towards constructivist principles, that matched beautifully with the deployment of ed tech, and lead to very meaningful curriculuar experiences, has been trumped by the need to meet AYP goals.

What do you think about this?


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pres. candidates and their education views- DA Pulse

Hi All,

This is not directly ed tech related but i found it useful on the DA Pulse blog.

The presidential candidates and their views on education.

I hope you find it helpful and useful also!

Jim :-)

Gary Stager on "A vision of students today".

Read this post by Gary Stager...

Click here for the DA Pulse posting

This is my favorite reaction excerpt... from Tom Kennedy

"We are the adults, folks. That means that, no, we can't program a VCR or play a video game very well, but we have something almost as important to offer: the wisdom that comes with experience. So, step up...and ask the hard questions. Forget the labels immigrant or native, try becoming a digital critic...It makes more sense and its the only way to tell if the digital "whatever" is worth a damn..."

Jim :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Your ideal Ed Tech conference -> blog post

Hi All,

Educational technology and Life...a cool looking blog...asked for our ideal ed tech conference. Please go to this link to let them know what you think, and cross post here.

Here was my quick response............

How about ... "Ed Tech in the REAL classroom"

I would love a conference that actually acknowledges the real front-line conditions that an average school/teacher faces. This would include the pedagogical, curricular, emotional and physical dimensions. Those could be the strands. For example, "Web 2.0 opportunities for a school preoccupied with their state testing program." It would also address the testing culture predominant in most school districts as driven by NCLB mandates. In case you haven't been near a normal public school lately, things like constructivist learning and the "middle school concept" have disappeared like so many mullet hair cuts of the same period.

I agree with what David said about the needs of classroom teachers at conferences. It is the most important thing to be doing...btw.


Jim @

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Global Ed Tech Wisdom! (Manilla Times)

I don't know much about the use of ed tech internationally.... but I found this article very elucidating and sensible!

I hope you will too!

Click Here for the Manilla Times (of all sources) article!

Jim :-)

What would my ideal education ultraportable look like?

A ZD Net Commentator does a nice job of asking and answering this question on the ZDNet Blog

See the link here.

What I like though are the responses. In particular, this one that you can clearly tell is from an actual working classroom teacher...

The Best education notebook is no notebook

I question the value of notebooks in schools period. It's a crutch for a bunch of lazy kids to do little, or surf to their websites of interest.

School achievement is completely based on the desire of the individual student to do the necessary reading and study to learn. Many schools, including the one I currently work in has PC's in every classroom, and two computer labs. But the students don't use the Internet, or the study materials for PC's to learn anything, or enrich their studies. they use it to find a source for a paper, many times some dumpy bogus web site, then type a paper full of grammar mistakes, misspellings, and bad formatting, and then expect an A.

If you can't read well, have no mastery of grammar other than "txt msg 2 u", and have no interest in the study and work of learning, then a PC Notebook in their hand is a waste. It will do them no good. If their family can't afford a PC, then go to a library, filled with PC's paid for by people who use a phone.

If they are overseas in poverty, then you have a whole different set of problems to deal with. But in the US today, you have a bunch of lazy kids who are addicted to pictures and music. A PC won't change them.


IMHO is that they will be great, if and when used wellto promote learning. There is the rub.

Chime in with YOUR own reaction Here or on the ZD Net site!

Jim :-)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008....I'm back! (cue The Shining music)

HI All, I've decided not to throw the "baby out with the bath water." After further reflection, and a few nice reassuring e-mails, I have been convinced that there must be a reason why this blog exists. So... I will continue to fill this space. Public schools are still the sausage factories that we know an love, so there is much material to choose from. (By sausage factories I mean: We love the product but you definitely don't want to know the details of how the product is made!)

I think I am finally on my feet as a classroom science teacher again (see the blog)and am ready to start scanning the ed tech literature for things to highlight and comment about. I am even contemplating putting together a little "dog and pony show" about my use of my science classroom blog in an actual inner city middle school.

Send me a few ideas and I'll be sure to put them up in this amazingly desolate corner of the web!

Peace and Happy 2008!

jim :-)