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Steve Ransom

Technology in Schools Faces Questions on Value - NYTimes.com - 9 views

  • Critics counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals. They say the technology advocates have it backward when they press to upgrade first and ask questions later.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      A valid criticism when technology implementation is decoupled from meaningful and effective pedagogy. You can't buy measurable change/improvement.
  • district was innovating
  • how the district was innovating.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Again, this is very different than how TEACHERS are innovating their PRACTICES. It's much more challenging than making a slick brochure that communicates how much technology your district has.
  • ...23 more annotations...
  • there is no good way to quantify those achievements — putting them in a tough spot with voters deciding whether to bankroll this approach again
  • “We’ve jumped on bandwagons for different eras without knowing fully what we’re doing. This might just be the new bandwagon,” he said. “I hope not.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      There's a confidence building statement for you....
  • $46.3 million for laptops, classroom projectors, networking gear and other technology for teachers and administrators.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Exactly... and how much was spent on equipping teachers to change their practices to effectively leverage this new infrastructure?
  • If we know something works
    • Steve Ransom
       
      And what is that "something"? New technology? If so, you missed the boat.
  • it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training
  • The high-level analyses that sum up these various studies, not surprisingly, give researchers pause about whether big investments in technology make sense.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Why does the argument for making schools relevant and using current cultural tools need to be backed with performance data? Give politicians and superintendents horses instead of cars and see how long that lasts.
  • Good teachers, he said, can make good use of computers, while bad teachers won’t, and they and their students could wind up becoming distracted by the technology.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Finally, a valid point.
  • “Test scores are the same, but look at all the other things students are doing: learning to use the Internet to research, learning to organize their work, learning to use professional writing tools, learning to collaborate with others.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Exactly. But somehow, "value" has been equated with test scores alone. Do we have a strong body of research on pencil effectiveness or clay effectiveness or chair effectiveness?
  • “It’s not the stuff that counts — it’s what you do with it that matters.”
  • “There is a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page,” she said. “It’s intimate.”
  • “They’re inundated with 24/7 media, so they expect it,”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      And you expect them to always engage enthusiastically with tools that are no longer relevant in their culture?
  • The 30 students in the classroom held wireless clickers into which they punched their answers. Seconds later, a pie chart appeared on the screen: 23 percent answered “True,” 70 percent “False,” and 6 percent didn’t know.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Okay... and you follow up with a totally trivial example of the power of technology in learning.
  • term” that can slide past critical analysis.
  • engagement is a “fluffy
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Very true
  • rofessor Cuban at Stanford argues that keeping children engaged requires an environment of constant novelty, which cannot be sustained.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      If that is so, why not back up your claim by linking to the source here. I have a feeling he has been misquoted and taken out of context here.
  • that computers can distract and not instruct.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Computers don't really "instruct". That's why we have teachers who are supposed to know what they are doing and why they are doing it... and monitoring kids while keeping learning meaningful.
  • guide on the side.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      But many teachers are simply not prepared for how to do this effectively. To ignore this fact is just naive.
  • Professor Cuban at Stanford
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Are they in love with Cuban or something? Perhaps they should actually look at the research... or interview other authorities. Isn't that what reporting is all about? I think this reporter must be a product of too much Google, right?
  • But she loves the fact that her two children, a fourth-grader and first-grader, are learning technology, including PowerPoint
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Again, the fact that any supporter is happy that their kids are learning PowerPoint illustrates the degree of naiveté in their understanding of technology's role in learning.
  • creating an impetus to rethink education entirely
  • Mr. Share bases his buying decisions on two main factors: what his teachers tell him they need, and his experience. For instance, he said he resisted getting the interactive whiteboards sold as Smart Boards until, one day in 2008, he saw a teacher trying to mimic the product with a jury-rigged projector setup. “It was an ‘Aha!’ moment,” he said, leading him to buy Smart Boards, made by a company called Smart Technologies.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Herein lies another huge problem. Mr. Director of Technology seems to base no decisions on what the learning and technology literature have to say... nor does he consult those who would be considered authorities on technology infused learning (emphasis on learning here)
  • This is big business.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      No kidding.
  • “Do we really need technology to learn?” she said. “It’s a very valid time to ask the question, right before this goes on the ballot.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Anyone who asks that should volunteer to have their home and work computer confiscated. After all, it's just a distraction, right?
Jennifer Jensen

Collaborative Pumpkin Project - 28 views

  •  
    This free project has classrooms using three pumpkins - students will first make estimates and then take various measurements of each pumpkin. They will then count the seeds contained within each pumpkin. All data, other than estimates, will be posted via a GoogleDoc. As pumpkin data begins to be uploaded, classes can begin analyzing the data shared by all.
Martin Burrett

Math Interactives - 6 views

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    This multimedia resource includes interactive math activities, print activities, learning strategies, and videos that illustrate how math is used in everyday life. The resource addresses the following mathematics topics: Fractions; Integers; Percentages; Rate/Ratio/Proportion; Square Roots; Exponents; Patterns; Algebra; Linear Equations; Polynomials; Angles; Circles; Surface Area and Volume; Area and Perimeter; Triangles; Pythagoras; Trigonometry; Similarity and Congruence; Transformations; Shape Classification; Data Display and Graphs; Central Tendency and Distribution; and Probability.
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    A great general maths site with lots of tutorials, activities and games which will help your students at school and at home. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Maths
Maggie Tsai

Measurement tutorials & lessons - 0 views

  • Tutorials, lessons and guides to mastering the measurement concepts in math.
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