Monday, June 22, 2009

Technology & Schools

A podcast that I listen to - Manic Mommies - was part of an event at WGBH, the PBS affiliate station in Boston, about our digital nation.  Today the Mommies posted a video link from PBS about technology in schools and the video highlights two specific schools and how technology is changing the way they teach their students. I really like what this video is saying - use technology to enhance your lessons and give kids real world skills.

I tend to think that  my school district has a lot of technology, but I think the thing that my district misses the boat on is teaching the students REAL WORLD applications.  I think that our kids should be in the computer lab doing typing programs/games in 1st grade. I think the kids should be learning and practicing how to use word processing programs, spreadsheets and multimedia programs.  A perfect example of this is my district spends a lot of money on broadcast studios in every school, and they are great, except that instead of giving us a multimedia computer with programs like Adobe Premier (or better yet a MAC) they give us an expensive editing system.  The system is hard to use and it is something that the average student (or teacher for that matter) would not have access to at home. It's a great system for a high school, not so much for an elementary school.  Let me teach them how to edit simple video using Windows movie maker (which every PC running Windows comes with) and maybe get a little more advanced with something like Adobe Premier, something they could purchase easily for their home computer.  

I think that schools the schools who find ways in integrate technology using real world applications and that use technology to enhance lessons instead of using technology just to use technology will be the schools that will succeed. Of course the other part to this technology puzzle is training teachers and giving the teachers time and resources to use the technology with their students.  

Well that is enough thinking today... it is hot and sunny here in Atlanta and I think my neighborhood pool is calling...




1 comment:

Teacherninja said...

Great thoughts. I've often wished someone would show teachers simple tricks like external mics, the importance of a tripod and simple editing software so we didn't have to sit through shaky "classroom videos" that sound like they were recorded underwater. All of your ideas would be easy to implement and would be fun for the kids and teachers alike. They would also be great cross-curricular activities, so it's not like they'd be abandoning precious AKS teaching time to do these things.