[OT] Interesting Read On Tech In Classrooms vs None

Jeff Reynolds jeff at siphonophore.com
Tue Oct 25 13:55:22 CDT 2011


having run a high school computer lab and taught multimedia there its  
really true that they are oversold and underused. it takes a lot of  
creativity and flexibility to find when and where you get a hight bang  
for the buck to use computers in the classroom, otherwise you are just  
spending a lot of time and money that yields negative learning  
returns... i do fear taking the other extreme can be just as  
problematic.

its the content, stupid was my old motto. folks get wrapped up in to  
the tech use/process and forget that its sposta be about the learning  
unless you are in a specialized tech class. for some things you can do  
some wonderfully engaging things with computers and tech in the  
classroom, but its really limited in its scope and requires resources,  
planning, and experience to do it for a positive educational gain. was  
actually a hard concept to get across to some teachers and made some  
battles, but the shining examples eventually won them over to doing  
more planning and limits on how/when the computers were used. others  
hated all technology and it took a time and work to show them some  
places where it could really help.

its like most things the simple rules of, everything in moderation;  
right tool, right task; there is no magic bullet /there is no free  
lunch; tend to be such good guides.

so much of this stuff gets jammed into education by powers above. in  
the late 90s i gave a presentation to the heads of all the bay bells  
about interactive multimedia education. they were all hot with the  
roll out of interactive services via their new systems they thought  
that they could make millions by delivering/selling educational  
materials via tv/computer. i showed them really cool things we had  
done that were very successful, and they were really drooling, but i  
left the last third of the talk to interactively discuss with them the  
other shoe(s) to drop. first these were in very specific, cherry  
picked places where technology really worked great and that was not  
true of the vast majority of things to be taught/exhibited, then the  
cost to develop content to this cool interactive level (jaws dropped).  
then finally i had them estimate how much they spent on educational  
materials themselves (id say most of these guys were in the 7-8 figure  
range of income) and it was pretty pathetically small. i then  
contrasted ok you make over a million dollars a year what do you think  
someone making $40k will spend. big silence. i told them these were  
not a deal breakers, but just moderators and that they needed to  
choose wisely where and when technology should be inserted into  
education to be successful. it was interesting chatting with them over  
the rest of the weekend event as many admitted they were ready to just  
try and jam this down the tubes w/o ever thinking about these things.  
was an eye opener for me at how things were done at that level too...

cheers

jeff

On Oct 25, 2011, at 1:00 PM, use-livecode-request at lists.runrev.com  
wrote:

> This book is about 10 years old but is still a sobering read:
>
> Larry Cuban
> Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom
>
> https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/edskas/Cuban%2520article%2520-%2520oversold.pdf&pli=1
>
> I think I also recently read that some Maine school district that
> decided to buy an iPad for every one of its KINDERGARTENERS is the  
> same
> that previously bought iBooks for an older grade despite no evidence
> showing that the iBooks improved student performance.
>
> Judy



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