Finding the Right Fit
Technology allows tasks that used to be arduous and time intensive to be accomplished in a split second, like magic. But magic has its dark side, too, and for board members or administrators who must deal with the dangers technology poses to our students, here is a magical series of ultra-simple steps that may assist in making you a better real-life wizard.
To Blog or Not to Blog
The Web’s hottest and fastest-growing trend is a great way to communicate and promote transparency, but some pitfalls remain. More newsy than news oriented, blogs represent a potent form of consumer-generated media. Unfiltered blogs are the Wild West of the Internet, where mostly young citizen journalists routinely ignore media niceties like fact checking, multiple sourcing, and balance. Conversational in tone, blogs represent a new and powerful form of personal communication.
Let Technology Be Your Guide
Granted, from all accounts, the reports are dismal, less than stellar, and not encouraging about science and math education in this country. But should we wait for another Sputkik to inspire us, or take matters into our hands right now? The fact is that many students are taking technology into their own hands, just not necessarily to improve their science and math knowledge. So if you can’t beat them, guide them.
Computer Labs: Here to Stay?
In today's world of 21st century learning, is the computer lab down the hall still a relevant space in school? Or should we get out the velvet rope, cordon off the doorway, and label it a museum showroom while today's students get on with a more organic and relevant integration of technologies?
The Future Is Flat
As schools struggle to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind and do more with less money, they could be forgiven for not immediately heeding the call for 21st century reform. But they should. The bottom line, according to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is this: U.S. students should be well prepared for citizenship, work, and postsecondary education. And one thing is certain: Technology—not the tools, but knowing how to use them—will play a critical role.
Providing the Big Picture
For schools to be successful in a global economy, school leaders know that they must change the hearts and minds of the public, parents, staff, administrators, and school board members—especially those who grew up before globalization. Selling the public on your district’s 21st century needs is an onerous—but necessary—task.
Teaching Your Staff
We want our students to learn the skills needed for the 21st century, but who’s going to get them there? Our teachers, who, like the rest of us, are products of the 20th century. Overlooking teacher training on the effective use of technology is akin to Columbus sailing without a ship. So how can we help teachers step forward, not back? Professional development programs are critical, but the method of training is what truly matters.
Teaching Your Students
Many in the United States see the challenges presented by an increasingly global economy as an opportunity Americans need to seize before it’s too late. Building connections—through online learning and a rigorous curriculum—is a must for today’s students.
Want to Know More?
Reports and resources on technology in education.
Five Things to Know About Ed Tech
New board members don’t need to be techies, but understanding some basic issues and terms will help new school board members get up to speed with the world of education technology. Here is a list of five key technology issues in education that all board members should understand.
A Tool for Reform
Educators, after focusing on lower grades following passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, are now facing a new wave of reform centered around the nation’s high schools. Technology is inextricably tied to this reform. To truly transform high schools, reform proponents say, technology is key. Not so much the hardware and software itself, but what the technology allows teachers and students to accomplish.
Technology and Hiring
Online recruiting is a must these days, but it’s just the first step in finding the right candidates for school district jobs. Two new tools can help you find candidates who are the best matches for vacancies in your schools. Online advertisements will net a larger pool of candidates than traditional searches to begin the hiring process. And behavior-based interviewing—which assumes that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance—will help sort candidates for efficient selection.
Software makers have been busy inventing tools that enable school districts to prescreen applicants online, virtually inhale resumes, automatically redistribute resume data into district databases, and automate the process of candidate referrals from in-house personnel with easy-to-use Web portals. If you’re looking to retool your school district’s site with the latest Internet recruiting tools, here’s an overview of what to look for.
How Technology Enriches the Arts
Art has always had the power to build bridges between people and across time and space. Add technology, and that power is even greater. If you need reasons for the integration of art and technology, look no further than these five pioneering programs.
Technology for Fiscal Management
Are there technology solutions, providers, and workable software applications that can help with district budgets and finance? Indeed there are. Stop waiting for the ‘killer app’ to tame your district’s budget and finance troubles—there’s plenty of software that can help right now.
The Unkindest Funding Cut
We’ve had plenty of financial resources and good leadership and still not solved education’s woes. What we lack—ironically, in this land of opportunity—is just that. Our opportunity to move forward is limited. And with news of the Bush administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology program in Fiscal Year 2007, it looks like there will be even less of it.
An e-Rate Update
Now that we've achieved the goal of connecting most public schools to the Internet, what's next? The Internet has changed since 1996. It's more than the largest repository of knowledge on earth: It's a content provider, conveyor, and communication medium. All students should have continuing, affordable connectivity in their primary learning environment.
What's Ahead in Ed Tech
MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte, creator of the One Laptop Per child initiative, said “Every single problem … is solved with education, or including education. Digital is the means through which children learn learning.” There are a myriad of considerations that education leaders must face when it comes to the best use of technology, but sooner or later we need to heed the wake-up call. Here are six lessons for 2006 from leaders in the education technology field.