Wednesday, May 28, 2008

From Concept to Reality? Ed-tech Trends

Six important ways technology is being viewed as effecting teaching and learning:

1. One-to-one computing - programs that provide full-time personal computing devices for all students in at least one whole grade level, and not simply mobile laptop carts,
2. On-line formative assessments,
3. Interactive whiteboards (IWB's) researchers predict that iwb's will be in every school five years from 2008),
4. Learning management systems (hasn't been fully realized),
5. Internet bandwidth (in a state of crisis)Bandwidth issues limited scope of student interaction with technology, and
6. Tech support shortage (new programs costs too much when struggling to even support current programs).

When I read this article, I thought about my school district. Some items we are the same, some we are ahead and some we are behind. But we are "close" on all of them (if I curve the grades).

One-to-one computing is still a future for us. There is real power in the opportunity of one-to-one and also many risk factors. To grow and learn, we all must risk. But at what point is the ROI best to take that risk? "Nada" for us right now.

On-line formative assessments is a current investigation but I believe we are going from concept to reality. Some say we have too many assessments, some say the assessments have been invaluable for teaching the gaps. What is the right balance? We are risking and searching for that balance. Go us!

Interactive white boards are happening in our district! Slowly but surely which I believe is the best way to go - managed roll-out. Standards have been developed, equipment is being ordered as appropriate, training is happening, most teachers that have them are using them at the level 2 moving to level 3 stage. Go us!

Learning management systems (Moodle for us) is happening as a district effort as well. Slowly but faster than IWB's (since it is open source - FREE). The Virtual Campus is a postive, forward moving trend in our district and everyone that learns and uses it, loves it. Go us!

Internet bandwidth. Well we join the club as far as the masses go. This is our number one technology trend need - to increase bandwidth within our district. And all that takes is money and support. Hopefully our plan to accomplish that will come to fruition. Club members with the rest of most of the K12 school world.

Tech support shortage. Ditto number five. I know, I know. Can't have two number one needs. . . .well I say they are tied.

One "nada", two "club members", and three "go us"es. Humm . . .If you are from my district, how do you think we are doing? If you are from another district, how is your district doing in these trend areas?

Thu, May 15, 2008
Researchers identify key ed-tech trends
One-to-one computing, online assessment on the rise in schools--but keeping up with bandwidth needs is a problem

By Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News


nicole205 said...

Having read this, I can't help but say I'm amazed and quite impressed that schools are slowly but surely making advances of getting their students the right technology that they will need to stay up to date with the world we live in.

I'm a 2nd year college student, still learning the ropes and my goal is to have a classroom of my own someday, but I thought it was pretty neat that almost every issue you addressed here I was able to relate back to a Educational Technology class that I am currently enrolled in. But coming from someone who has been in the hotseat, my curiosity has piqued. Has your district been using the mobile laptops before considering the 1-1, and if so what would be your thoughts on it? Good, bad, not something you would recommend?

Before coming to college in the United States I was raised in Mexico, a very tiny private school where we were more focused on the great literary authors rather than computers, resulting in me having barely any knowledge of even your simple Microsoft Word by the time I flew up here to start a new chapter in life. I think it's awesome this district is pushing forward, props to you!

Connie Masson said...


Thanks for your post and your comments. We are definitely trying out mobile laptop technology now and probably will for some time before we consider going 1:1.

Kind of the same concept as crawling, walking and then running.

And mobile carts fit some classroom situations better than 1:1. A 1:1 effort would likely start the same way - research, design, pilot, review, improve, expand, grow where research shows the most bang for the student.