Jason Szep's Washingtonpost.com (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,
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!