How Two Struggling Schools Got Two Different Results With Ed Tech is a blog post by KQED that describes how using technology in the classroom is not always the best idea due to the expenses of time and money. For example, in a Title I middle school in East Oakland called Elmhurst Community Prep, teachers reported wasting way too much time trying to figure out how to use the devices they ordered for the students. Furthermore, due to low wi-fi signal, students were unable to access the webpages from the new systems, thus putting pressure on the teachers to come up with a different lesson plan on the spot. In the words of Cori Schneider, a special education teacher, technology was great at first because “the kids were into it and they were seeing their success that was then translating into a higher SRI [Scholastic Reading Inventory] reading score.” When problems started outweighing the benefits, however, the school principal Betlach complained, “We threw a lot of money down the drain; and it’s embarrassing and it’s sad and it feels gross.”
As mentioned in this post, a large part of the issue is that ed-tech companies pitch products that fail to remedy the actual problems that students face. The use of technology in the classroom is supposed to free up more time for teachers to spend with some of the struggling students, but not all programs can be seamlessly integrated in the curriculum without setbacks such as the time attending to problems with the systems.
Schools have found varying levels of success with implementing technology which leads to the question: what are some ways to avoid potential pitfalls of introducing technology to the classroom? In the next blog post, I will highlight some tips given by educators and researchers in the field.
Schwartz, Katrina. “How Two Struggling Schools Got Two Different Results With Ed Tech.” MindShift. KQED, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.