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How Much Is Technology REALLY Used In Your School?

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As regular readers know, I’m working on my third book, which now has a new working title, Student Self-Motivation, Responsibility, and Engagement:Practical Answers to Classroom Challenges. It’s a long one, but it is an accurate description of what it’s about.

It will certainly contain ideas for for using educational technology, but that will not be its primary focus. Some of the reviewers of my manuscript suggested I include even a few more tech ideas than I originally had, which I can easily do.

But that got me thinking — how much is technology REALLY used in most classrooms?

So, I have created a very simple survey that should take people considerably less than one minute to complete. It’s admittedly not very scientific, and may very well not provide an extremely accurate answer to the question. But, at the every least, it’ll be interesting to see how people respond.

It’s embedded in this post, though I’m not sure if it will show itself in an RSS Reader or in Feedblitz email subscriptions. So you might have to click through to the post itself.

I’ll leave the poll open until September 15th. The poll is only supposed to allow one response from an individual computer.

Thanks in advance for completing it. Please pass it on to others, too! I’ll look forward to sharing the results.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

3 Comments

  1. Larry – My hypothesis is that your survey will illustrate a couple of interesting points. First, the amount of technology use in classrooms will be less than many might think, and second the ways technology is used will be primarily the older, more established ways, such as PowerPoint. Change is hard and takes time, and schools and educators have historically been late adopters (in general). The current discussions over the use of cell phones in schools shows that.

    That would be another interesting survey – to see how many classroom teachers actually would welcome the lifting of the ban on cell phones in class. I suspect a minority.

  2. As usual with these ed tech things, it has less to do with the tool and more to do with what question/topic/issue the students are asked to engage in. It’s too simple to say teachers should move away from word processing and internet research and toward wikis and blogs or cell phone use. I’ve seen many shallow uses of the latter and some incredible student engagement with the former, because the students were asked to consider an interesting, relevant and engaging topic. Tools are great, but a teacher who can bring kids into the beauty of the subjects they teach is better.

  3. Neil,

    I agree with your feelings on this issue. Powerpoint is really just a fancy chalkboard unless it is used in a more innovative way, or given to the students as a creative tool.

    My school is very progressive in terms of integrating technology, but our aim is to stress instructional approaches first, and then to find the best tech tools to suit the given purpose.

    A big part of why this works in my district is the professional development program. Each summer, we have the opportunity to take in-house PD courses in a wide variety of areas, from pedagogy and philosophy to specific tech tools. This year, I’m part of a 1:1 netbook program. We received 12 days of training, including a live talk from Will Richardson (who used to teach English at my school) and a Skype conference with Sarah Brown Wessling, the national teacher of the year. A lot of our training time was spent collaborating with each other to come up with interesting new lessons and project-based units.

    I don’t know (and rather doubt) that most schools have the resources to offer such training and learning opportunities, but I do think it is the key to maximizing the potential of tech in the classroom.

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