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Top-Down Technology


In a Classroom Tech column, Kevin Bushweller questions whether it's wise for school districts, in their quest to keep pace with technological change, to force innovation on teachers. He cites the case of a Virginia district that recently began requiring its teachers to maintain classroom blogs. Among other things, he wonders whether edicts like that might not sap educators' sense of discovery and initiative in using new technologies.

What's your view? How involved should school administrators be in teachers' decisions about what technology to use? Do teachers need to be required to use certain tech programs in order to remain proficient? How do you balance school technology goals with teachers' professional autonomy?


Kevi is correct. You cannot force these things on anyone and make them like it. I feel the same way about teacher web pages. If you force people to do these things gaianst their will, you end up with just more pointless pages on the internet. We have enough of that. I blog myself. I'm thinking about ways to use blogs in my classroom. It's not for everyone.


Have you ever heard of the achievement gap? Do you realize how many children leave public schools without the skills they need to pursue a higher education or even to survive in the world of work? Some people are oblivious of the fact that in many cases our approach to education is not working. It is broken, so let's fix it! New technology is part of the fix, not necessarily web pages; but the use of technology and new approaches to instruction. I have never believed that NCLB was about the children. I think it is about bringing teachers up to the task of teaching the students we encounter today.

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  • Richard Spurgeon/Teacher: Have you ever heard of the achievement gap? Do you read more
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