HOME21st Century Schools
POLLWhere Do You Stand?
QUIZOld School or New School?
VIDEO QUIZDigital Media Index
POLLWhat Are the Obstacles?
VIDEO POLLDigital Media & Learning
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More and more educators are tapping into the power of digital media and technology for teaching and learning. The variety of information resources available online is simply staggering. Explore how teachers and students are using the power of social media to promote students' active engagement, critical thinking and literacy skills.
Online Resources for Teachers include:
In this workshop, educators will:
Where Do You Stand? Technology in our Schools
How Google Saved a School looks at how the introduction of laptops at I.S. 339 helped make a significant change in the culture of learning for both students and teachers.
After watching the video, rate your level of agreement with these statements. Click to see how others responded. Share your opinions by posting a comment.
QUIZ Are You Old School or New School?
Learning Objective: Understand your beliefs about the use of technology in education. Are you old school or new school? Are you an enthusiastic supporter of technology in education, or a bit more skeptical?
Procedure: Read each pair of statements below and choose the one that best reflects your view.
Based on your responses, you are:
Learn More. Read Old School, New School to reflect on how these four perspectives reflect different values about the benefits and drawbacks of using technology for teaching and learning.
Old School, New School: Educational Perspectives on Digital Media and Technology
New School. You're enthusiastic about digital technology as a tool for transforming education, and you support collaborative, student-centered approaches to learning.
Hopeful. You know that technology can engage students in learning and help teachers transmit the knowledge and skills students need for a well-rounded education.
Old School. You're not convinced that technology is the answer to the challenges educators face today. You see the future of education as continuing in the tradition that has been established by previous generations.
Skeptic. The quality of instruction is what matters most. Student-centered approaches really make a difference in improving learning. Technology isn't really the solution here.
Key to Reading the Chart
Let's call the y-axis your approach to student learning. Perhaps you're someone who knows that reading comprehension tests help kids gain culturally valued knowledge (south), or you're more interested in helping kids learn anything using engaging activities (north).
Digital Media Index: Test Your Knowledge About Technology Use in the Classroom
Learning Objective: Find out what you know about the use of technology in the classroom.
Procedure: Watch "Friending Boo Radley," take a quiz about the use of technology in the classroom, and give your opinions on obstacles teachers face in using technology in the classroom.
How much do you know about how teachers and students actually use technology in K-12 education? Make an educated guess about the number that best fits in the boxes below.
Share Your Thoughts About Obstacles to the Use of Technology in the Classroom
In using technology in meaningful ways in the K‐12 classroom, good teachers can face a number of obstacles. What 3 obstacles from the list beloware most significant?
Learn More. Check out Are Computers Used in Innovative Ways? to learn more about how computers are actually used by teachers and students in schools.
Cheerleaders for Technology in Education
If you're a teacher, you'd almost have to live in a cave to miss the many messages about the wonders of digital technology for teaching and learning.
But critical thinkers always ask the question, "Who's the author, and what's the purpose of this message? Can you separate the reality from the hype?" Consider some of the many resources available to educators today:
Edutopia is a publication of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, the magazine and Web site designed to spread the word about ideal learning environments and cutting-edge uses of technology in education.
Threshold Magazine is a journal for district, state and national education leaders, sponsored by the cable television industry through the nonprofit organization Cable in the Classroom. Launched in 2003, it features nationally recognized experts offering provocative ideas, opinions and research at the intersection of education and technology.
Before you visit the Tech & Learning Web site, you must fill out a detailed questionnaire so that you can be added to the company's database. The publication sells advertising based on how many readers influence the hardware- and software-buying decisions in their school districts.
Why are so many different organizations promoting the use of digital media and technology for learning? Some perspectives include:
There are a lot of cheerleaders for educational technology. And while we shouldn't be dismayed or surprised to see that commercial interests are involved, when evaluating the quality of information about technology in education, it's important to recognize that business interests are deeply invested in promoting technology tools for learning -- and that these interests will shape the messages we receive.
Are Computers Used in Innovative Ways?
Teens are doing more writing than ever before -- mostly because they are socializing online. A recent study by Andrea Lunsford of Stanford University shows that 38 percent of students' writing takes place outside the classroom. As Clive Thompson put it in an article in Wired, "Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn't a school assignment."
But what are children and teens doing when it comes to using computers when they're in school?
The best evidence we have about the actual use of technology in education comes from a survey of teachers conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. More than 4,900 teachers from a nationally representative sample were asked about their use of digital media for teaching and learning. Classroom teachers who were teaching core subject areas during the 2004-2005 school year participated in the study.
The data suggest that teachers do not generally use digital media for the purposes recommended by experts and advocates. Experts stress how digital media can promote students' collaboration, self-expression and problem-solving skills. Instead, digital technology is used in much more mundane, modest and teacher-centered ways; for example, for personal research and lesson planning. Here's how teachers used digital technology on a monthly basis:
Here's how their students used digital technology on a monthly basis:
What would be needed to help teachers make more active, student-centered use of digital media?
Digital Media and Learning
Learning Objective: Find out more about the effects of digital media on learning.
Procedure: Watch short video clips and share your opinion about how digital media affects the learning process.
Poll: Do young people learn more from following their personal interests exploring the Internet than they do in school?
Poll: Should school be a place where students can engage with people, ideas and information, without all the pressure to use the latest technology gadgets?
Poll: Should schools block access to certain Web sites?
Consider This: Twenty-one states have Internet-filtering laws that apply to public schools or libraries, requiring them to prevent minors from gaining access to sexually explicit, obscene or harmful materials.
In 2000, Congress enacted the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which offers e-rate technology discounts to schools on the condition that they use Internet filters. The law, which was upheld by a Supreme Court decision in 2003, allows communities to set their own standards for what content is (and is not) filtered.
Now you're ready to answer the following questions to reflect on your own learning about 21st Century Schools.