Team 3 is Pro
Team 4 is Con

Use this page for your discussion posts. Remember to only post in your team's area.

As with previous discussions, sign your name and insert at horizontal rule above and below your post.

Pro Statements

TEAM 3: PRO (Anni)
The National Education Technology Plan (NETP) has outlined essential areas that need to be addressed in schools around the country. From the NETP report it is evident that there are areas in our education system that are lacking due to the lack in technology accessed and used within our school buildings. The NETP aims to combat the gaps in the education of our children by addressing many areas through the use of technology. An article written by Mike Kennedy (2010) titled “Connecting to the Future” outlines the exponentially positive aspects of the NETP. Kennedy addressed many areas but the areas that support the cause the most are the accessibility aspects to learning and the building up of a community. He states, “America's schools totally immersed in technological advances that will produce better prepared students, more effective teaching, more authentic assessments of student performance, more accessible learning resources and more productive school systems.” The use of technology and the outlined proposal of NETP will connect everyone who is involved in education. By connecting students, teachers, and other professionals through the use of technology, as outlined by NETP, people will be able to connect on a wider and deeper level. Individuals who never thought they would be able to go back to school or learn now have the access. Kennedy stated that, “The ability to transmit video over the Internet has enabled schools to expand distance-learning opportunities.” Individuals, both young and old, now have access around the clock to become and stay educated. Aside from that students are able to become involved through virtual field trips to places they may never imagine going. Technology is a way to connect everyone, which in turn will make the community of teachers a more collaborative and interactive group of individuals. As stated in the NETP teachers no longer will be teaching in solo behind closed doors, but interactively with each other sharing resources. “Technology can not only enhance a student's learning performance, but also improve a teacher's ability” (Kennedy, 2010).
Reference:
Kennedy, M. (2010). Connecting to the Future. American School and University. Retrieved from http://asumag.com/Construction/technology/reform-transform-education-201004/#

Anni,
Rebuttal-
Thank you for outlining some of the positive aspects of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). I think it would be difficult to find many people that would argue against most of the ‘ideas’ recommended in the NETP. The issue with the plan is really in its implementation. How would you recommend that this plan be financed? Should we raise taxes, cut teachers, limit the numbers of students in our school? Anni, you stated, “From the NETP report it is evident that there are areas in our education system that are lacking due to the lack in technology accessed and used within our school buildings.’ I agree with you on this statement and other statements in your summary. However, I think most people would agree that there are places that technology access and use in our schools is behind or not good enough. Simply recommending, like the NETP does, that all students need to have access to technology and internet access is not enough to solve the problem. As Sloan states (p.3), “Without funding from new streams, states, districts and schools are going to find it difficult to create the bold innovation for which NETP calls.” How would you recommend schools and districts attempt to deal with the funding issue? How are these technology issues going to be addressed without a major addition in funding to education? Are we not getting ahead of ourselves, we are implying that technology will solve our educational problems but we are doing so without a plan in place in how to finance this new initiative. There are some beautiful multi-million dollars houses that my family would love to live in, but if you can’t pay for it then it’s not going to happen.

Sloan, W. (2011). Can Your School Meet the Goals of the National Education Technology Plan? ASCD Policy Priorities, 17(3). Retrieved online from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/policy-priorities/vol17/num03/Can-Your-School-Meet-the-Goals-of-the-National-Education-Technology-Plan%C2%A2.aspx

Matt Stombaugh

Respone to Matt- (From Anni)
Response: While I understand the counterarguments I fell it is up to the policymakers and the leadership in schools to advocate for training and funding. The writers of the NETP report want to be successful otherwise they would not have written this document. As individuals they want to be the ones that make enormous advances in our educational system by adding technology. In order to be successful they will need to provide training and funding. Initially, as many of us in education have seen the training and funding are not there. But, when leadership takes hold and advocates for effective implementation with logical backing the government will need to take hold and listen, otherwise this will be a failed attempt in a nation that wants to compete on a global level and created 21st century scholars.


In Response To Anni:
From: Cindy Moore (Group 4)
When implementing technology into education we need to keep in mind that there are both benefits and disadvantages. Technology can offer collaboration, speed, and digital knowledge which can contribute to work force skills. However technology usage may lead to reduced focus, lack of information retention because answers are provided, less personal socialization, reliance on spell check and grammar check, and privacy (Dunn, J. 2011). We must not only take the steps to implement technology but also make sure we maintain the values of developmental, social, and cognitive life skills.

Reference:
Dunn, Jeff (2011) The 10 best and worst ways social media impacts education. Retrieved from: http://edudemic.com/2011/07/social-media-education/



Pro Statement for NETP Plan
Kristen Tripp
The are two main goals for the National Education Technology Plan are: raise proportion of college graduates from 39% to 60% and close the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school and are ready for either college or a career. In order to achieve these goals, it is important that all levels of education have clear outcomes set, redesign structure and processes for effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility, monitor and measure performance, and hold themselves accountable for progress and results. In order to achieve the goals, technology must be present and in some cases introduced to schools. Because all schools are not technology savvy and do not have the latest and greatest technology gadgets, this will take some time and energy to put into place. Teachers and administrators who are not comfortable using technology will now have to attend in-service professional development to learn how to integrate technology into the classroom. This will not be an easy fix but it will better our students. The majority of our students are already using technology on a daily basis whether it is to text friends, check Facebook, or play Temple Run. As stated on the CyberEnglish blog, “The panel acknowledges that transforming American education using technology will be revolutionary and not evolutionary. It further acknowledges that education must catch up to the rest of the world as far as the use of technology is concerned”. I couldn’t agree with her more. As a Computer Skills teacher, I feel like the more technology the students are introduced to at school that will help them learn the better. Students like to use different technologies and new programs because it keeps that class exciting. “Technology helps, assists, aids us in learning. If we don't know, we go on line” (Nellen, 2010). Even my parents will “Google” something if they don’t know the answer or want to learn more about a topic.

References:
Nellen, T. (2010, March 10). The National Educational Technology Plan 2010. Received from: http://tednellen.blogspot.com/2010/03/national-educational-technology-plan.html


Kristen,

Rebuttal-

Thank you for outlining some of the positive aspects of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). I agree that the goals are relevant to the education field. However, there are issues that need to be addressed before the plan can be successful. One of the goals you mentioned is closing the achievement gap, which has been a topic of interest in education for quite some time. Later you mention that, the majority of our students are already using technology on a daily basis. I agree with statement, however, which students are not currently using technology on a daily basis. In my opinion, it would often be the students on the low-end of the achievement gap. How is this then going to close the achievement gap? Yes, you might be able to incorporate technology into a portion of the school day, but aren’t these same students going to continue to farther behind outside of school because of the economic situation in which they live. Are the majority of students who currently use technology actually using that technology for learning or are they simply using it as a form of communication or entertainment?


Requiring or making teachers and administrators attend professional development on technology is not simply going to solve the issue of technology integration into all classes. As the old saying goes you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I’ve personally sat through technology professional development classes and looked around to see other teachers grading papers, doing lesson plans or even taking a nap. Where is the buy-in to get all teachers on board? What do we need to do to get all teachers to see the impact it could or should have?


You stated, “Even my parents will “Google” something if they don’t know the answer or want to learn more about a topic.” Yes, but your parents were interested in knowing the answer or learning about a topic. How do we deal with students, parents or teachers who aren’t interested in learning? Do we just leave them behind? Simply putting technology in front of them, isn’t going to make them learn or be interested in learning.


Matt Stombaugh


Blog Pro Post (Phil Pulley): (Sorry in advance, I got carried away)
The goals of the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) for 2010 of transforming education in America in the areas of learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity are far reaching and necessary, not only if we wish to address the inequity in American education, but also aspire to making our country once again a leader in education in the world. Learning and teaching need to change to become collaborative situations where students becoming constructors of new knowledge based on scaffolding, to support and build upon prior knowledge (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005, p. 106). Assessment need to move from reforms of standardization and high stakes testing to a new way of thinking with a focus on, “change but not measurement, on the social, and not simply the technical, [that] allows us to identify the ways technology may help disrupt the traditional relationships: between schools and knowledge; knowledge and children; children and teachers; and learners and communities” (Rowen & Bigum, 2012, p. 26).
For any of this to take place, change must happen, not only in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of equity. Rowen & Bigum (2012) assert that despite all the decades of technological innovation in the world, and the adaptation of that technology to schools, equity issues have not changed much:
The children at risk of educational alienation and failure in 2011 are the same groups of children at risk more that four decades ago: kids from rural and isolated areas, indigenous communities, language backgrounds other than English. Kids from low-socioeconomic families, single parent households. Kids with physical and intellectual disabilities. Kids who don’t match their world’s “mythical norm” (p. 47).
As the report acknowledges, in today’s world finances are tight and monies need to be reallocated, but that reallocation needs to consider first the schools that are furthest behind by improving their infrastructures (including technology), not to punish them because they are behind and rewarding those already ahead. One byproduct of the new call to renew, update, and jump onto each new technological change is that the amount of time and money invested has resulted in calls to measure the results, something Rowen & Bigum (2012) call a distraction because of the domestication of technology that takes place, that is, “schools often use those technologies in old and familiar ways: integrating them into existing routines, deploying them to meet existing goals and, generally, failing to engage with technologies in ways consistent with the world beyond the classroom” (p. 22).
Much more important is to help teachers engage in collaboration to become 21st Century educators because they are a more important part of the solution than technology. Cummings, Brown & Sayers (2007), note that the failure of educational technology to achieve change, “has much more to do with pedagogy than with the technology itself” (p. 91).
References:
Cummings, J., Brown, K., & Sayers, D. (2007). Literacy, technology, and diversity. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (Eds.), Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teacher should learn about and be able to do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Rowen, L., & Bigum, C. (Eds.), (2012). Transformative approaches to new technology and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms: Future proofing education. Dordrecht, Germany: Springer.



















Con Statements


Cindy Moore
Con’s of the National Education Technology Plan
There are many proponents of the National Education Technology Plan who feel that 21st Century Skills and the Common Core Standards will solve the current problems and flaws in the U.S. education system. The NETP states that through adding the components of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication to the current content, students will become learners who are more prepared to compete in the global community (U.S. Department of Education, 2005). The plan emphasizes the use of the connected teaching model, personal learning, extended learning time, digital exclusion, and on demand learning as approach which will allow for student centered learning which is motivating, engaging, and authentic (U.S. Department of Education, 2005). While I do feel there are several good points to the NETP, I also feel that there are some concerns which need to be addressed. I will be addressing what current research tells about our track record and what impacts this reform could have on current education.
When looking at our governments past record in education reform, there have been numerous attempts to revitalize learning. Recently, the Common Core Standards are a part of President Obama’s educational plan designed to create a national consistency in what students learn in the United States. These standards although voluntary offer federal funding for the states who choose to participate in the Race to the Top (Strauss, V. 2010). Critics of the standards have found that teacher implementation, curriculum, and out of school factors may influence achievement and that there is no clear evidence that the Common Core Standards are decreasing the achievement gap (Strauss, 2010). Now, the federal government once again is implementing Common Core Standards regarding the use of technology. Current research tells us that the there is an inadequate amount of research on the effects of technology and learning. In Maine, research could not determine if student’s math scores were due to laptops or teacher training, other small studies showed contradictory results, and there is also a debate concerning the justification of funds spent on technology with such a lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness (Richtel, M. 2011). Once again, I have to worry that we are putting the cart before the horse and jumping into a new education reform without the research that may be needed. And, we as teachers are left to decipher what the standards mean and how they relate to our everyday practice.
The economic state of our country also concerns me in regards to the expenses included in implementing a technology plan. I question where will the money come from, and if all schools have equal access. In today’s economic crisis, schools are already stretching each dollar to help meet student needs. NETP involves new hardware and software, installation, and effective professional development. And, how do we address the issue of technology in the home in creating a 24/7 learning environment. Will schools fund that? In talking to peers from different school districts in the state, I have found that we all have different resources available to us now which encourage or restrict our technology usage. As a kindergarten teacher, my students do not seem to be as high of priority in using mobile labs, software, etc. Also, what will be removed in order to fund technology? Ritchel’s (2011) analysis of Kyrene School District (a highly innovative technology district) in Arizona found that some of the disadvantages to funding technology were laid off teachers, growing class sizes, time in specials (P.E., music, art) reduced, and tax payers were being asked to support the schools program. Many of us as teachers have already felt this impact and it could become more substantial. Is anyone else out there frustrated with implementing a vision before we have a clear, concise, researched, documented plan?

References:
Richtel, M. (2011, September 4). In classroom of future, stagnant scores. New York Times Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html?pagewanted=all
Strauss, V. (2010, July 21). Do high standards really help kids? The Washington Post. Retrieved from: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/national-standards/will-high-standards-really-hel.html

Cindy,

While I agree with your issues on Common Core Standards, do you think that using technology will harm student learning? I think that by using technology, students are able to explore and find new things about a given subject or topic that they might not have known before. It is my opinion that technology enhances learning. My school district is currently implementing 1:1 for all incoming sixth grade students. The same questions you stated came up while this was being introduced to staff and parents. One teacher has created a “notebook” using software already loaded on the laptops. This “notebook” would include lessons, worksheets, and any other important information the student might need. The great thing about the “notebook” is that it is all electronic and it does not require the student to have access to the Internet at home. I also see the issue with professional development and buying new hardware and software. If I read the report correctly, I found where there would be funding for technology and professional development. I understand that we are talking about getting money from the government but that would be one way to help ease the money crunch on districts. My district also provides professional development opportunities during Institute Days and this has allowed for staff to learn about the latest and greatest technologies being used in the classroom. I feel like there are different solutions for the questions you have brought up.

Kristen

Cindy Moore
Con’s of the National Education Technology Plan
Rebuttal (Anni)
Thank you for outlining the current report bringing in what I feel as the most important concept of “connected teaching” using more of a “collaborative learning” model in the community of teachers because it has been proven to work with other groups of people (Heron, Villarreal, Yao, Heron, 2006).
I agree with the fact that the effects of technology and learning have not be researched fully, however through my own research on cooperative learning, technology is the new wave of learning and is already taking place outside of the school building. I understand why the government wants to take something the students are already experiencing and implement it within their learning environment. Technology, on different levels (phones, computers, gaming), crosses all socioeconomic groups (Tobias, Fletcher, 2011).

While I understand the concern for the financial aspects of implementation I would argue that on a larger level at some point our nation needs to take notice of our interactive need to education our students. It does truly take a village to educate our students. With businesses realizing that students are not exiting with the needed skills they may begin to take notice and grab hold of this new initiative assisting in donations or financial aspects of implementation.

Heron, T. E., Villarreal, D. M., Yao, M., Christianson, R. J., & Heron, K. M. (2006, January-March). Peer tutoring systems: Applications in classroom and specialized environments. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 22(1), 27-45.

Tobias, S., & Fletecher, J.D. (2011). Computer Games and Instruction. Information Age Publishing, Inc., North Carolina.


Response to Cindy Moore (CON) from Phil (PRO):

Cindy,

You (and Matt) ask about what will have to be cut in order to pay for increases in technology expenses. Obviously that is an important question for most schools, regardless of the current fiscal situations of many districts. From the current situation with our school (our entire high school is going 1:1 next year) I can tell that part of the money can be shifted from current technology and textbook expenses. We are using the money we would have spent updating our woefully overbooked computer labs and some textbook replacement funding and spending that to pay for the laptops that students will use. In most schools that might only pay for one or two grade levels and then you implement the others in subsequent years. In our case we had the extra money to move forward with all high school students.

For technology to be effective it, “must be used to promote new learning goals and teaching strategies that are student-centered, collaborative, engaging, authentic, self-directed, and based on development of higher-order thinking skills” Honey, McMillan-Cult, & Spielvogel, 2005, p. 1). Additionally, as I noted earlier, we have to avoid the situation where the technology is “domesticated” (Rowen and Bigum, 2012) and attempt to use the technology in transformative ways, ways that more closely mirror how people use technology in their lives outside of school today. For example, in Australia today, schools spend less than 18% of the amount on technology that student’s households do, so at least technology wise, going to school is like stepping back in time for many students (Rowen and Bigum, 2012, p. 21). Instead of thinking about how we can make a technology fit what we are currently doing in school, we need to finally think “outside the box” and think about ways we can expand how we define teaching and learning to fit the new opportunities that technology makes possible or we run the risk of make ourselves irrelevant.

For this to happen requires a shift in how teachers think and teach. Again referring to what I posted earlier, Cummings, Brown & Sayers (2007), note that the failure of educational technology to achieve change, “has much more to do with pedagogy than with the technology itself” (p. 91). For the teachers to change requires retraining and effective professional development that they see as relevant and important. See my response to Matt for more on PD.

Trust me I understand your side, I have a hard time with these debates as I can see the points on both sides…if only our elected officials could do that!

-Phil

Cummings, J., Brown, K., & Sayers, D. (2007). Literacy, technology, and diversity. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Honey, M., McMillan-Culp, K., & Spielvogel, R. (2005). Critical Issue: Using technology to improve student achievement. North Central Educational Laboratory. Retrieved from: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te800.htm

Rowen, L., & Bigum, C. (Eds.), (2012). Transformative approaches to new technology and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms: Future proofing education. Dordrecht, Germany: Springer.


In Response to Kristen

From: Cindy Moore (Group 4-Con’s)

Kristen- I do not feel that technology will not harm student learning. However, I am not convinced that it is the “be all to end all”. While I feel that technology can and will open up a whole new world to learning, communication, and collaboration, I also feel that there are so many other factors which influence the achievement gap, high school dropout rates, the number of college graduates, etc. In the article titled Study Skills and Academics, Discipline, School Policy and Education Issues, Families and Relationships, (Convissor, K. 2010) variables including pregnancy, family problems, financial difficulties, poor transitions through school levels, attendance, and academic failure, all influence students’ educational experience.While I do agree that NETP can offer a great deal of flexibility to education and motivation, we have to remember that each student is a human being who has factors in their life and free will. If you were a 9 year old child who has changed schools 5 times would find the fact that each school offered technology a motivating factor to stay in school? Or is it more important for that child to be offered stability and routine? Is a 16 year old going to be more motivated to get up in the morning to get to school and not stay at home playing video games or hanging out with friends because they get to go to school and use technology? Just some questions to ponder. Once again, I feel that technology is important and will benefit education. However, I also think that there are several other factors which need to be addressed which may not be the responsibility of the government or schools but begin in the home!

Reference:

Convissor, K. 2010 Study skills and academics, discipline, school policy, family problems, and educational

issues. EduGuide Retrieved from: http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2132/

CON-Matt Stombaugh
The National Education Technology Plan (NETP) is a well-intentioned, thoughtful five-year plan that outlines what the Department of Education would like to done with technology use in schools. Having said that the plan itself reads more like a Christmas list than it does for what actually might take place in schools. In the NETP (p. xiii), it states, “All students and educators will have access to a comprehensive infrastructure for learning when and where they need it.” It then goes on to say on the same page of the plan, “Ensure that students and educators have adequate broadband access to the Internet and adequate wireless connectivity both inside and outside school.” Without reading the rest of the plan, these two statements make me wonder whether anybody involved in making the plan has been around the country to see the conditions in school and communities across America. As Sloan states in ASCD Policy Priorities (p. 1), the plan, “seems like a wish list for cash-strapped schools that are struggling to support the technology plans they already have, to provide access to kids stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide, and to create more efficient schools by using fewer resources.” The NETP then ridiculously recommends that every student have at least one internet access device available for students to use both in and outside of school. As a classroom teacher who sees students come to school every day without having eaten, what makes the NETP think that the same students will amazingly appear with an internet access device? Assuming that the NETP is recommending these steps to be taken for the good of the student, where might funds be available to purchase all this necessary equipment and infrastruct?

The NETP states (p. xi), “In the United States, education is primarily a state and local responsibility. State and local public education institutions must ensure equitable access to learning experiences for all students and especially students in underserved populations – low-income and minority students, students with disabilities, English language learners, preschool-aged children, and others. States and districts need to build capacity for transformation.” Does this plan even pretend to understand the fiscal well-being of many states and schools? States and schools around the country are cutting programs and teachers because of a lack of funding. Without the proper funding, the NETP plan is doomed for failure. As Sloan states (p.3), “Without funding from new streams, states, districts and schools are going to find it difficult to create the bold innovation for which NETP calls.” Sloan continues, “As it is,… many schools and districts struggle to support their technology programs.” It seems that the NETP plan, although well-intentioned, will not meet the goals it has set forth without fully understanding the financial aspect that such a program would require.

U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Transforming American education: learning powered bytechnology. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/28582608/NETP-2010-Final-Report

Sloan, W. (2011). Can Your School Meet the Goals of the National Education Technology Plan? ASCD Policy Priorities, 17(3). Retrieved online from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/policy-priorities/vol17/num03/Can-Your-School-Meet-the-Goals-of-the-National-Education-Technology-Plan%C2%A2.aspx

CON-Matt Stombaugh
Rebuttal- Anni
I understand your concern with the “Christmas List,” however I would argue that many things in education have been a list of wants and needs without a national backing. This I believe has more of a backing because it affects more individuals than just teachers, students, and families. Access to technology is national want and need. Many communities are making their entire community Wi-Fi accessible, which would play into this statement. As I stated in Cindy’s rebuttal, at some point our communities need to understand that it takes a village to educate. They need to understand how they can impact the education of their children. With the newer emphasis on technology, communities and businesses are taking hold and making communities more technologically connected, which will not only benefit businessmen but also students and families. While I understand the financial burden on states and districts with the implementation of this plan, when the individuals who wrote this report realize they are failing, we, as educators, will then have backing from government and policy makers to find funding for our schools. While I understand this is a backwards way to work, many of us in education also understand this is the way education works. Once the proponents, the individuals at the top of the ladder, realize they are failing in their implementation they will begin to listen to the individuals on the ground level and help our students become 21st century scholars.

Anni-

I agree that it takes a village to educate and also that many things in education are without a national backing. My concern is often that people/groups spend more time complaining, hampering and being a nuisance to public education that truly being a part of the solution. The NETP plan doesn't seem to much different in my opinion that the numerous other plans that have been thrown out of the past 20-30 years: No Child Left Behind, A Child at Risk, etc. Ideas/Plans from the government with little financial backing or follow through. Personally I love the idea of the NETP, but i'm pessimistic with a lot of 'ideas' in education that don't really have the support and planning needed to actually be succesful.

Matt Stombaugh

Response to Matt:
Matt,


I agree with your comment about the plan being a Christmas list but don’t you think that by bringing technology into the classroom would help students learn? Not all students learn through a lecture or filling out handouts some students learn by completing hands on activities. I disagree with your comment about that “the NETP ridiculously recommends that every student have at least one Internet access device available for students to use both in and outside of school”. My school district is going to 1:1 and I think this will benefit students. While I do see an issue with having Internet at home but some teachers have worked around that by creating assignments using OneNote. I believe that by adding technology into the classroom will always benefit students. I can see the strain that if would put on the district by having to purchase laptops or iPads but I think the benefit over weighs the costs.

Kristen Tripp

Kristen--

I see The idea of 1:1 as a great benefit to students, I would love to implement this with kids. However, i'm just extremely pessimistic that the financial resources are going to be there to make such a program successful both in terms of purchasing, but also maintaining the technology and providing staff development. Me, you and others in a class such as 579 are at the front of the use of technology in the classroom. However, I also see the many teachers in my building who use the Smartboard to project the same overhead pages they used 15 years ago---literally the exact same overhead pages. Are these teachers going to buy into the NETP? I also see a situation where the 'rich get richer'. School districts which have available money are going to make things like the NETP happen, while the same districts which have struggled will again continue to be left behing. Personally, I love the NETP idea, but just very pessimistic that it can be successfully undertaken.

Matt Stombaugh

Response to Matt (CON) from Phil (PRO):

Matt,

As I noted in my response to Cindy above, I agree, funding will always be an issue with education, especially with all the new mandates from all levels that seem to be more restrictive and prescriptive, yet often without funding i.e. unfunded mandates. But in regards to technology, how long can we wait? We need to find innovative ways to shift monies, see my response to Cindy above, perhaps we could sell corporate naming rights to our schools…I digress.

In regards to getting teachers to buy in to a change requires that teachers be treated as professionals (and held accountable when they do not act that way) and be in on the conversations about new technologies from the beginning. If they are left out of the conversation and this is imposed from above, they will not have any buy in and feelings of empowerment. They also need effective professional development that is long-term and geared specifically to their grade levels and content areas.

Educational technology is about more than computers, whiteboards, projectors, cameras and software. Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources (Richey, 2008). Earle (2002) says, “Technology involves the tools with which we deliver content and implement practices in better ways” (p.8). It should be noted however that knowing how to use technology does not mean that teachers know how to use the technology in their classrooms. Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010) state, “Teaching with technology requires teachers to expand their knowledge of pedagogical practice across multiple aspects of the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes” (p. 260). Just because teachers know how a technology works, does not mean they will then be automatically able to effectively implement it into their classroom.

For now I think the best we can do is engage in practices like Rowen and Bigum (2012) call for, not for high pressure, quick fixes, but for changes that are modestly ambitious, that skeptically support claims of new technology, and call for the elimination of discrimination and alienation through multiple projects, “working in multiple ways to disrupt, transform and celebrate positive relationships between diverse children and educational success do have to offer” (p. 220). They go on to state, that education reformers and educators must realize that educational reform is not only ongoing and ceaseless, but requires diverse and multiple initiatives, initiatives that will form, “the basis of the future proofing agenda outlined in this book: a focus on creating opportunities for students to be good at learning for life, not good at leaning-about-how-to-do-school” (pp. 221-2).

Sorry, I think I liked that book too much. As I noted with Cindy, I certainly see both sides of this debate.

Earle, R.S. (2002). The integration of instructional technology into public education: Promises and challenges. ET Magazine, 42(1), 5-13.
Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T. (2010). Teacher technology change: How knowledge, confidence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42(3), 255-284.
Richey, R.C. (2008). Reflections on the 2008 AECT definitions of the field. TechTrends. 52(1), 24-25.

Rowen, L., & Bigum, C. (Eds.), (2012). Transformative approaches to new technology and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms: Future proofing education. Dordrecht, Germany: Springer.