This article was published earlier this year but remains timely.
Mostly the blog reports on an article by veteran journalist Peg Tyre on the potential value of technology in the classroom.
Tyre knows that the technology boom is accelerating but she offers a few cautions.
“iPads in the classroom, too, are hardly turning out to be a panacea. Teachers in some schools use iPads to great effect. Most, not. And they are not likely to lead to cost savings. In a widely quoted blog post, Lee Wilson, tech watcher and President & CEO of PCI Education, calculated that once you consider the training, network costs, and software costs, iPads cost school districts 552 percent more than those old-school textbooks.”
Where technology has proved especially popular is in charter schools enrolling low-income students.
“The experiments are far-reaching. Currently, there are roughly 275,000 K-12 students from 31 states who are taking classes online. School administrators all over the nation are handing out iPads and asking teachers and students to come up with new ways to learn with them. Some schools are experimenting with flipped classrooms, in which kids read or watch videos of a lecture for homework and work through problems or questions with an instructor during class time.
“Other schools, including a rapidly expanding chain of charter schools that serve low-income children, are employing what they call a “blended learning” model. It works like this: The classroom is broken down into small groups. Some kids work with a qualified, credentialed teacher, while others are shepherded to a computer room, where, under the watchful eye of a paid-by-the-hour supervisor, zoom ahead or redo a lesson using interactive, adaptive software.
“At another chain of charter high schools, kids sit in what resembles a call center, receive videotaped lectures and interactive lessons on a monitor, and get pulled into smaller, teacher-led groups to get a particular lesson refreshed or reinforced.”
The goal, of course, is higher test scores.
In the best suburba, urban, and private schools, technology is used by expert teachers for enrichment of instruction, not to cut costs.