Educational Technology and Change

McKenzie wrote of many schools having a "Horse Before Cart Syndrome" (CHB) with regard to technology integration....use this checklist to see if your school is one of them...


Indicators of CHB

1. The teachers in my building were not asked how they would like to use the new technology before it was purchased.

2. Computers were distributed quite evenly across classrooms — the same number for each room regardless of purpose or activity.

3. Computers were placed in the classrooms without asking teachers where they wanted the units.

4. Teachers are discouraged from moving computers about from classroom to classroom, sharing units.

5. Most decisions about the technology program are made by people outside the school.

6. The focus of the technology program is on the learning and use of software such as spreadsheeting, word processing, PowerPointing and Internet browsers.

7. A substantial number of the computers in the building go unused much of the day as teachers continue on with regular schooling.

8. Teachers are provided with less than 5 hours of paid professional development each year to help them use the new technologies.

9. Teachers are provided with less than 5 hours of paid program development time each year for them to build technology enhanced units like WebQuests and Research Modules.

10. There are not enough technicians to keep things running in a robust and reliable manner.

11. There are no teachers on special assignment available to model technology rich lessons and team with teachers wishing to integrate technologies into their programs.

12. There are no subscription information products on the network (such as periodicals and databases) other than the free Internet.

13. Teachers do not have display devices in their classrooms to show students what is on the screens of their computers.

14. There are no laptop carts, flotillas or COWS (computers on wheels) to supply critical mass — sufficient computing resources to do something worthwhile.

Alan November put together this list of example comments from participants in a workshop in Oklahoma, February, 2005 when asked: What is your best hope for what technology will provide to improve learning? & What can we lose from adding technology to our schools?
  • Student motivation. Increased work ethic. Feedback from peers. Initiative to better myself.
  • Lifelong learning
  • Authentic experiences
  • More self-directed learning
  • Higher intrinsic motivation
  • Higher level thinking and problem-solving
  • Higher test scores
  • Provide information that we would not have had access to before.
  • Enhance collaboration and communication between our Professional Learning Community.
  • Encourage critical thinking. Connect our students to the world outside of the classroom walls and allow our students to experience things that the majority of them would not have had the chance to experience otherwise.
  • Ownership of learning increased. Higher expectations because of comparison to others.
  • Taking learning global not just within my team.
  • Teachers need to work smarter, not harder.
  • To increase student assessment to provide better instruction.
  • Prepare students for the next levels of learning.
  • Provide learning (experiences) not available in a book
  • Technology will increase student curiosity and the interest will be contagious
  • Hope can over come Fear when barriers are torn down, by allowing students to engage in a forum they are comfortable they take ownership of their learning and the teachers will be willing to change from the role of information giver to facilitator.
  • Use technology to stir interest of students to seek new information
  • Create excitement for students, staff, and community.
  • Lessen mundane tasks to make teaching less burdensome.
  • Prepare students for life within a global community
  • Our hope is that the use of technology will empower teachers to assist their students in developing an appetite for learning and thinking.
  • It takes away the spoon feeding and instills within student the desire to learn to fish so they eat for a lifetime.
  • Students feel empowered as they see that their ideas are heard and are valuable. Empowered students would then be enthusiastic about their own abilities to contribute to a dialogue for addressing real problems and designing real solutions.

  • Lose personal connection to students, lack of skill results in loss of time, lack of direction, increased frustration due to state standards and time. Technical difficulties.
  • It has become apparent to our school that some of our teachers have lost their self confidence. They believe that it is expected they change their entire way of teaching and presentation, when in reality we want it to be an enhancement.
  • Afraid of coming out of our comfort zones - might be made to look incompetent in front of students, peers, or community.
  • Teachers' comfort with what they have always done
  • Control over what is being learned
  • Less reliance on basic skills due to calculators, spell check, etc.
  • Students relying on technology for information and instruction instead of the teachers
  • 20-year old laminated lesson plans
  • Lack of teacher education to support the advance in technology
  • Losing one-on-one interaction between teachers and students
  • Fear of unknown
  • Our table is concerned about losing interpersonal communication skills. (ie. facial expressions, tone, etc.) Parental involvement may decrease due to the parents' fear of technology.
  • Our worst fear is that our school district will spend thousands of dollars and that expenditure not have a positive impact on student achievement.
  • Misinformation-being able to evaluate the validity of internet information.
  • Loss of control by granting our students the freedom to search and formulate opinions outside our parameters of control, we may be unleashing a monster we may never be able to bring back under control.
  • Technological problems that we probably can't understand or fix, thereby causing a loss of instructional time and possibly loss of employment as schools are wont not to tolerate teachers who heave equipment out windows.
  • Students can write anything they want anonymously.
Found a great worksheet to use in planning for technology/mission statements.

Mission Statement Development Worksheet

What can education be in three years with technology integration? Work in groups to
develop ideas for each of the following areas.

How will technology integration…
1. Support new ways of teaching and learning

2. Expand learning beyond the walls of the traditional classroom

3. Support teachers in their instructional tasks and professional learning

4. Bring the school closer to its parent community

5. Make more efficient use of teacher and administrator time and resources

Even advertisers realize that children are getting more technologically advanced at an earlier age. (Obviously, this is tongue in cheek but it was playing on the TV as I was reading the articles and I had to add it to our page.)

Natives vs. Immigrants
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"Teachers are digital immigrants because most teachers did not have technology growing up. Students are digital natives because they have grown up with technology all around them."

According to Marc Prensky the single biggest problem facing education today is that our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language.
Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to “serious” work.
Cartoon depicting teacher standing with a student at a chalk board.  The student says, " there aren't any icons to click.  It's a chalkboard."
Cartoon depicting teacher standing with a student at a chalk board. The student says, " there aren't any icons to click. It's a chalkboard."

"Teachers won't be replaced by technology. Teachers who don't use
technology will be replaced by teachers who do." by David Thornburg

Today's children are given the opportunity to learn through a variety of technological resources...outside if the classroom. Bridging the gap between how children learn inside and outside of the classroom determines the success of future generations.

Digitial Natives Hard at Work Multitasking
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Computer Usage-Who
The use of computers and the Internet by students has increased rapidly in recent years (U.S. Department of Education 1999; U.S. Department of Commerce 2002). In 2001, computer and Internet use was more widespread among school-age children and adolescents than among adults (DeBell
and Chapman 2003). The now commonplace use of these technologies follows the installation of computers and Internet
access in nearly all public schools and in a majority of households with children by 2000 (Kleiner and Lewis 2003; Newburger 2001).

  • In 2003 a study done by US Department of Education shows 91 percent of students use a computer
  • The same study showed 59 percent of students use the internet
  • Students in poverty were less likely to use the computer
  • Students whose parents only had a high school degree were much less likely to have a computer than those who had a college degree

Why we need technology!!
Building Schools of the Future from
The following conditions were recognized as critical elements of future schools:
  • Schools of the future must be open and flexible.
  • New communication should promote new collaborations and a higher level of cooperation and creative problem-solving.
  • Teachers must be supported in their use of new technologies for learning and also in their use of technology for professional development and collaboration.
  • Learners must be able to use technology to achieve new levels of learning and to acquire new information age skills and abilities.
  • Educational managers need to use technology as a tool for managing schools and learner communities.
  • Free from one geographic location.
  • Supportive of all learning styles.
  • Teachers must be researchers and mentors (Maryland Virtual High School WEBSITE)
  • New skills required in info-society: abilities to quickly adapt to new situations and new technologies and to be able to process bast amounts of information
  • "’The only way a school or district will get sustained support for quality professional development in technology is when the line administrators and top administrators are active technology users’" Van Wilinson
  • Administrators and managers need professional development as much as their staff.
  • Principals, superintendents and school boards must provide teachers with adequate training and support to effectively use the technology in their classrooms. They need to understand how the current structure of a teacher’s and learner’s day impact on their effective use of the technology. In effect, managers must provide the vision of change that includes empowering teachers and learners in new ways and then must learn how to effectively manage these empowered teachers and learners."
  • New on-line communities
  • "’Education needs to SELL its beliefs to industry and start a cooperative partnership.’" Perry Brown, Anderson County Schools Office of Technology in Clinton, Tennessee. "’If we can make students life-long learners, then industries would not have to pay 20% of their manpower budget on retaining! The point is, if we can do the job right, then industry would be SMART to help fund us – we would be saving them money in several ways."
  • Give to the community as well as asking from it. Create a vision and a reality in which the school is creating value for the community and the technology is enabling the technology to be created.
    We know that students are using technology like ipods, laptops, cell phones, my space, and many other forms of technology. We also know that students perform better when they are engaged in the lesson. So how do we get school districts and teachers to use technology more frequently inside the classroom, to better engage the students? How do we train teachers to use technology? How do we get school districts and taxpayers to fund technology?

    Jamie McKenzie gives the following suggestions when integrating technology
  1. Make learning goals very clear
    1. Make sure the technology plan is very specific.
  2. Identify classroom opportunities to use technology
    1. Teachers are likely to use technology if they can see how it works with their content.
  3. Provide extended funding and commitment
    1. Teachers or leaders might attend training sessions and then never have a follow up. Technology takes time and money.
  4. Staff Development
    1. Needs to be done in a fun and meaningful way ("not about training but learning").
    2. Staff members often want training on technology.
  5. Combine rich information with powerful tools
    1. Offer good research tools with technology. Once teacher see how much information is available to their subject they will have more of a buy in.
  6. Match rigorous program assessment to learning goals and student outcomes
    1. Show that the technology is making a difference and that it works by keeping good data .
  7. Combining the elements
    1. Make sure that all of the above elements are carried out. Do not pick and choose!

Interesting Quotes__

  • Teachers are most likely to embrace technologies if they can see the connection between their work (covering and exploring the curriculum) and the tools. -Jamie McKenzie
  • Generation M has a lot to teach parents and teachers about what new technology can do. But it's up to grownups to show them what it can't do, and that there's life beyond the screen. -Claudia Wallis
  • We usually want to know whether they have the technical skill to do something like getting on the Internet, but in my view, the technical skill is trivial compared to the critical thinking skills that are needed. -Alan November
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Notable excerpts from group discussions:
One of the articles pointed out that teachers need to continually learn new technologies, but they have to be provided the opportunity. We have to encourage teachers to learn about these programs. For example my school used an electronic gradebook that allowed parents and students to go online to look at their grades. This is something that has been around fro a while, but several teachers were very unhappy about not being able to use their paper gradebook. Once they began to understand the program they started to realize it was easier, because they did not have to do all of the caculations by hand.

As Gary said, BCPS has many wonderful resources such as Safari Montage, the databases, as well as the online research models that were mentioned in one of the reading. The problem is, many teachers either don't know about them, don't know how to use them and integrate them into instruction, or don't feel they have the time to look into them.

One time in middle school they took us into a room with computers and we just learned how to play some game where you get the rabbit to move through a maze to get his carrotJ

Just because many students are using technology consistently throughout the day doesn't mean they are using it correctly or in meaningful ways. Educators can not just look at the fact that students are using technology. They need to pay attention to how they are using it.
Since nobody has shown them how this equipment can benefit them, they just see it one more thing added to their pile.
Technology can be great, but if the teachers aren't trained how to use it and what it can be used for, the money is wasted!!

Now that younger generations of children have so many different choices for communication and accessing information, it would be harmful to allow these tools and resources at home, but deny them within the classroom.