Sunday, October 22, 2006

The wonders of technology?

American education blogger Will Richardson wrote about his most recent trip to the UK this week. He feels that in some respects schools in the UK are ahead of the US in their use of technology. He mentions the proposal that by 2008 every student in the UK should have a digital portfolio as one example - it's a concept that has not been bandied about much here in the US yet.

I am sure the reality is that there are some schools in the US that are well ahead of the curve just as there are schools in the UK that are leading the way in technology use. Will surely met some of those in the UK who are most interested in it - they invited him to come and speak to them after all! Mr Chalk, a teacher in an inner city comprehensive somewhere in the UK, wrote back on September 14th:
The kids still share textbooks, discipline has gone out of the window, lessons have become crowd control. [...] There is no shortage of computers however.

OK, so Mr Chalk is often very cynical and writes with an eye towards entertaining, but clearly simply throwing technology into schools and requiring it of kids and teachers is not a panacea. Will has a very positive attitude to educational technology - it's his livelihood after all. Mr Chalk sees what other things the money might have been spent on rather than computers.

The question is, will the investment in technology pay off? Will it inspire kids to learn, and more importantly to learn how to learn? (And if I visit a couple of schools in the UK on my next trip there, can I write the trip off as a business expense?)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails