Why ARE We Having This Conversation?

I was in the presence of an idiot once who made the comment "research shows that technology doesn’t make a difference in student achievement".  This person, as you might imagine, is a big fan of standardized testing and I could go on and on about this but won’t.

Over and over again, it’s so easy to find research reports that counter the above in all subject areas.  Every year, millions of dollars are spent purchasing classroom technology so you have to believe that either folks believe that it makes a difference or they’re just okay with blowing money.

I think of my own teaching experiences.  I’ve used:

  • IBM 1130
  • Unisys Icon
  • Radio Shack TRS-80
  • Radio Shack Model 100
  • Commodore 4032, 8032
  • IBM PS/2 (Various models)
  • Apple SE/30
  • Variety of IBM Think Systems (Desktops and Notebooks)
  • Variety of Palm Handheld Computers
  • Apple iMac
  • Apple iPod Touch
  • Apple iPad

There probably are a few others as well but that’s OK.  With new technology comes a certain learning experience, but I’ve always figured that’s part of being a teacher and constant learning is part of the process.

Admittedly, I was a Computer Science teacher and so these were the tools of the trade.  However, never once did I question whether or not technology was important.  Later, as a Resource Consultant for the school district, I enjoyed working with teachers who were more than willing to try and find new and innovative uses for computer technology in their classrooms.  For the most part, I had enjoyable experiences learning along with very motivated colleagues.

On the heels of the ISTE Conference, I had some great conversations with a lot of really smart people.  Really smart.  The really disturbing part of the conversations happens when we start to talk about getting the reluctant teacher to make first steps with computers.  If you check the sundial, it’s the year 2011.  Why are we even having this conversation?

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  1. I am a degree student and I am presently working on creating a teacher training guide on how to use the Colleges internal Moodle VLE. After reading this blog I found that a lot of your points made were depressingly familiar.

    As part of my research I am looking at ways of overcoming teacher apprehension to new technologies and any insights or advise you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    My own WordPress area is accessible by invite only but if you are interested and I am not imposing on you then i would be more than happy (not to mention extremely grateful) to give you access.


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