Thursday, July 10, 2008

Washington Article: Technology Reshapes America's Classrooms

Jason Szep's (originally from Reuters) article, Technology Reshapes America's Classrooms starts off with exciting examples from a charter school in Boston that is using technology in revolutionary ways not seen in many public schools.
It has no textbooks. Students receive laptops at the start of
each day, returning them at the end. Teachers and students maintain blogs. Staff
and parents chat on instant messaging software. Assignments are submitted
through electronic "drop boxes" on the school's Web site.
"The dog ate my homework" is no excuse here.
The experiment ... began two years ago at cost of about $2 million, but last year was the first in which all 7th and 8th grade students received laptops. Classwork is done in Google Inc's free applications like Google Docs, or Apple's iMovie
and specialized educational software like FASTT Math.

Unlike traditional schools, Frederick's students work at vastly
different levels in the same classroom. Children with special needs rub
shoulders with high performers. Computers track a range of aptitude levels,
allowing teachers to tailor their teaching to their students' weakest areas,
Socia said.
The potential implications of this are exciting for an inclusion advocate, like myself, although I imagine the students with special needs are probably students with high incidence disabilities, as opposed to the students with low incidence disabilities that I typically support in general ed settings. It is nice to see mainstream media acknowledging the impact technology and a Universally Designed for Learning classroom (even though it does not use this term) can have on teaching.
The article goes on to discuss the impact of the internet on education and the prediction that 50% of high school courses will be taught online by 2019. It makes me think Karl Fisch's 20/20 Vision may run ahead of schedule, beyond even his foretelling of President Obama!


Anonymous said...


Applying the technology instead the textbook abides much advantageous. Maybe in the beginning it will charge the school more money but the result in the end would be more efficient. But, it will be more perfect if they make the idea more general. If they permit the students to keep the laptop with them after school because it is not all students have a computer. I think the education technology is not bringing technology device in school, reading ebook, and submitting homework. The school has to have learning websites for more practice, video to explain the courses which help student to improve their education. I think the school has to make complete project not one part of project.
For example, in Saudi Arabia two years age some public high schools which have the high quality tools gave each student laptop in the beginning of the semester at grade-9 and they take it after they finish grade-12. They use in different ways: improve their computer skills, connect to learning websites from home, do assignment and summit it to schools' website. The students love this idea.
Today's generation likes to use the technology in ever thing in their life. I believe that we have to investment this point to guide their power in education through the technology. Also, mixing the technology with education improves the level and quality of education for students and teachers. This mix will increase the skills, knowledge, experience and the culture of the new generations. In addition, they will have a good environment that assists them to create new creative. For example, if we create professional education games which will help students to improve themselves in math, history, and science will helps them to create new education idea based n technology. Moreover, it helps the teacher to improve the teaching ways. I hope we can make that work in the future and improve the education to develop the student and teacher.
Schools that use the technology will find a lot of support and encouragement and success from people and government.


Beth Poss said...

I think your comments about today's students are right on target--they do love technology and are very motivated by it. I wish all teachers would buy into this, as I think the government does spend money, but it is not always as well spent as it could be if the digital immigrants who receive it could make it be.