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Better Teaching with Technology?

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Tim of Assorted Stuff examines whether the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project will benefit developing countries, and what U.S. schools could learn from it. He comments on the following excerpt from eLearn magazine's article, Can the "$100 Laptop" Change the World?:

Some of the problems [Ethan Zuckerman] sees in the schoolrooms in the developing world are echoed here in our own halls of learning. "Educational systems that teach to standardized national tests mean that the emphasis is on making sure a percentage of students learn enough information to pass the national exams, and less on learning through self-guided exploration, which is what the OLPC project is designed to enable."

Tim thinks this is why technology has not been an effective learning tool in American classrooms:

In recent years we've spent tens of millions of dollars in this country on hardware, software, and connectivity, yet in most classrooms computers are still primarily used as expensive reinforcements for standard instructional processes.

Tim says a new educational system is needed in order to make technology in schools effective, both in the U.S. and in developing countries. Do you agree? How can the educational system improve technology use in classrooms?

3 Comments

TeacherTube.com is a new site that I have found. I think it is a promising site. Do you think that it could offer the self-exploratory learning that is suggested in your blog?

I believe that technology is a powerful tool to be used as an extension to any subject teaching.
I would like to invite all teachers to a powerful tool I found as I was searching the net. It is a site you can use . You can create your own activities, tests on-line etc.

As Bryn Holmes and J. Gardner stated in their book "We must create and promote". Once they are comfortable with their grasp of a learning context, learners may fashion their new knowledge in transferable forms (creating learning objects) to make available to other learners in a communal learning resource space (Holmes, B. & Gardner, J. (2006). e-learning: Concepts and practice). London: Sage Publications.

One of the problems with technology is that in order for it to be successful, the entire school really needs to embrace it. I believe that using technology tools to teach enhance the learning process tremendously. Especially when you can't get out of the classroom. It is also a benefit for the student when they can use web quests, power point, publisher for projects and obtaining general informatin on the web. If a teacher needs to create all these materials on their own, it becomes a 2-3-4 year project. If a school embraces it and works together to implement it is more likely to be used daily and provide many more benefits to the child. There are so many possibilities that we need to pursue in this area. Too many teachers still feel the need to lecture and GIVE information vs allowing students to learn and discover. You can still focus on test material without needing to give it to them. If that is your necessity, give them test taking strategies and leave the learning to them.

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