Friday, April 11, 2008

Benefits of Educational Technology

Les Foltos talks about the large investment we are making in educational technology and asks about how it is improving student achievement. He has a posting about it here. The short answers from Les Foltos are: 1) If you are using the technology for drill, you probably aren't getting much from the investment. 2) If you are using technology to simulate and problem solve, you are on the right track. They have been talking about this very topic at education school as well. How often have you heard it said that teachers need to promote higher level thinking? Software and computers are making this kind of teaching easier. Open ended question? Where do you go to find someone who knows an answer? Group project? What tools do people use in the real world to collaborate? There are internet, software, computer answers to all of these questions. I wonder how many people are still back using their computer as a low level drill machine? How does a teacher get to the simulate/problem solve level? Through thought, discussion and training. Spending time discussing with peers who are having success with higher level thought and technology is the right thing to do. Taking time to learn the tools well enough to move to the next level is a must.

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