As of late, it seems many teachers are vouching for a technology-centric classroom – allowing their students to work in group laptop sessions, blogging about an article they’ve read, or inserting new and interesting ways to bolster academic development, such as rap renditions (as mentioned a recent ClassLink blog, Alternative Teaching Methods).
It’s no surprise that 7th grade English students are studying Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” in a non-traditional way at Kyrene School District. This particular district in Arizona strongly vouches for a tech-driven education environment as seen inside of their classrooms – most of which are overflowing with interactive big screens, lesson-driven software, and an overwhelming number of laptops. After investing $33 million in technologies, they’ve transformed their classrooms and altered their teacher’s impact in said classrooms, from addressing students with lessons to now acting as a guide of sorts directing students as they utilize their various computing devices.
Interestingly enough, this New York Times writer points out that while excitement at this school is on the up and up, test scores are not. Providing that since 2005, both math and reading scores here are idling, while as a whole statewide score have increased. This leaves some asking, is going high-tech a gamble? Overall, there are schools out there spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, without testing this technology wave and its effects to launch basic learning skills.
In spite of the varied opinions, it’s important to note the Kyrene School District has captured endless attention and was even praised by the National School Boards Association as a model of success, receiving visits from 100 educators across 17 states that came to witness the innovations of this particular district.
ClassLink was intrigued by this article but thinks it is important to note that TNYT points out – standardized tests can’t be compared to student performance measures that computers are capable of producing. We have witnessed small steps being taken to shift the future of education, and today, it’s having a big impact across our nation’s schools. It’s exciting to be a part of!
To be continued…
Stay tuned! When we return, ClassLink will further dissect this approach with an interesting view from a proponent of next-generation technologies from a value perspective for students everywhere.
Have you witnessed the positive results of technology throughout schools and classrooms? Do you think there is any validity to technology as a tool being immeasurable? Stop by our page on Facebook and let us know!
Interested in reading the full article? View it here, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html?_r=3&ref=education
Source: In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores by Matt Richtel. New York Times, online. September 3, 2011.