3.30.2012

The School That Technology Forgot



Today I heard the news for our district's new technology plan. Hold on to your hats, friends, because this one is hard to believe:
  1. All teacher laptops to be removed
  2. All campuses currently using Mac computers shall have them removed, to be replaced by rented Dell desktops
  3. Grades 5 and up will now be allowed to bring in their own technology into the classroom (BYOT?) -- meaning your home home laptops, iPads, whatnot, are finally going to have access to the district Internets (sorry Grade 4 and under - you're on your own!)
I can't even begin to comprehend the thoughts driving this decision or the effects it will have on the students and teachers.

I've been using Macs in the classroom for the past 5 years. The students love them, they're very user friendly, and we absolutely use the software provided on our classroom desktops.

I use my laptop at meeting, training sessions, and at home to do numerous work related tasks.

I was told today that the reason behind the laptop removal is because "teachers only use their laptops to play around on the internet, and that's not a good enough reason to keep them."

The disrespect towards myself and other professionals from this one statement is quite simply -- as Liz Lemmons would say -- a deal breaker.

How do we prepare students for the jobs of the future when we aren't even equipped to handle the technology of today?

At best, it's embarrassing. At worst, it's damaging to students and teachers alike.

And it is definitely guiding my thoughts on who I am as an educator, and where I choose to invest my time.

4 comments:

  1. At our school every teacher was given an Ipad (in addition to their laptops) in preparation for our 1:1 technology in May. In August ever student 5-12 was given a laptop to carry to and from school. Every 2-4th grader was given an Ipad that stays at school. And Every K & 1st were given an Ipod that stays at school. No real training for teachers and no money for software or apps. And so many things are blocked by school that teaching using technology is hard.
    So what do curriculum directors do anyway? :-)

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  2. That is sad news. We are a MAC school K-5 and Windows 6-12. I think we have a lot less tech issues in the elementary with the MACs. Of course, we have different users.

    It is a shame you are losing your school laptop --- especially for those reasonable. It seems professional development could solve those problems. Additionally with today's technology it is possible to know who is misusing and go to them.

    So sorry to hear your news.

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  3. Wow. Just. Wow. Teachers only play around on the internet, huh. Wow. Makes the disagreement in our district about ipads or laptops for high school students seem a little stupid....21st century skills, anyone....

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  4. Thanks for the comments, guys! It really does just dumbfound me that this decision is deemed as good for students. I know each district across the country struggles with how to make technology accessible and worthwhile... but how going backwards can help anyone, I just don't know.

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