The calendar shows that it is September and that means school is back in session. Across the nation, kids in pre-school through grade 12 are back in the classrooms and hitting the books. I am thrilled to report that my son has been accepted at the Kaleidoscope Academy. It’s not that the Appleton Area School District doesn’t use technology, because they do. Just in minimal amounts. Maybe one or two powerpoint assignments a year and if the teachers are willing to share the one computer lab with only 30 computers, then kids might be able to use a computer once a week for about 30 minutes. The teachers may use an Interwrite Board, but most rooms aren’t equipped with such technology nor are the teachers trained on the boards. Another issue, out of 17 elementary, 4 middle and 4 high-schools, Wi-Fi hasn’t been installed in even half of them. There could be the possibility of using Web 2.0 Tools, but again, we run into the 30 minutes a week on a computer issue. So podcasting, using Flip cameras, reading the current events on a digital forum, sending assignments electronically isn’t used as frequently in the AASD as it is at the Kaleidoscope Academy. Yes, KA has laptops for all of the students, Interwrite Boards in every classroom, along with Wi-Fi and trained teachers. The teachers at KA have websites, assign homework to be completed and submitted electronically and take the use of technology to enhance student learning very seriously.
Some schools and school districts are slowly adding the technology piece while others are moving at a much faster pace. According to a study that was completed by Barron, Kemker, Harmes and Kalaydijian (2003) out of over 2100 teachers only half were using technology in the classroom. The study also pointed out that only 30 out of the 50 U.S. states had adopted the NETS as set by ISTE (Barron, et. al, 2003). A second study completed by Al-Bataineh, Anderson, Toledo and Wellinski (2008) showed an increase in the percentage of teachers implementing the use of technology. Although the results of the study that surveyed only 64 teachers, 49 of them responded to using technology in the educational setting (Al-Bataineh, et. al, 2008). While schools continue to fund the purchase, training and implementation of various technology tools in the classroom recent studies show an indication that many teachers and administrators continue to struggle to meet the NETS as set by ISTE (Watts, 2010).
As a parent of a student attending KA, I am proud to report that the students use some form of technology and it is integrated every day in nearly every subject. I only hope that the study completed by Barron, et. al (2003) was just the start of a huge turning point in technology integration. As I continue to focus on incorporating the use of technology and sharing my knowledge of Wikis, Blogs, iPads, iPods, Web 2.0 Tools and more both professionally and personally, I only hope to see more and more teachers using it in their classrooms. With over 30 teachers and administrators recently trained on using iPads in the classroom through Marian University and another 50 set to be trained this fall I am excited to see what impact these educators will have on the implementation of technology in their districts over the next few years. What impact will you have? Will you review the NETS and learn a new technology this year? Will you try to add a new tool each month? Why should all of the learning be left up to the students?? Educators are not meant to stop learning, we are all life-long learners and try to instill that love of learning in our students. Let’s embrace the opportunities that technology offers in the classroom and start the school year off on the right path.
AL-BATAINEH, A., ANDERSON, S., TOLEDO, C., & WELLINSKI, S. (2008). A STUDY OF TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION IN THE CLASSROOM. International Journal of Instructional Media, 35(4), 381-387. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
Barron, A., Kemker, K., Harmes, C., & Kalaydjian, K. (2003). Large-Scale Research Study on Technology in K-12 School: Technology Integration as It Relates to the National Technology Standards. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 35(4), 489. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
Watts, C. (2010). Technology leadership, school climate, and technology integration: A correlation study in k–12 public schools. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 70, Retrieved from PsycINFO database.