March 7, 2005

Who decides?

Jack Mcleod told us of his school decision to ban certain sites. I’m fortunate to work with a school division that values the opinions of teachers. Our local ITST (Instructional Technology Support Teams), has a strong voice in determing the direction of policies related to technology in our schools. Some of the questions we have begun to discuss include technologies such as using instant messaging, cell phones, and other acceptable use policy issues.

As educators we need to be prepared to deal with new technologies as they become more pervasive and accessible. Chris Dede of Harvard has used video games developed as virtual learning environments specifically designed to promote learning. He says, “Kids also are fascinated by virtual interaction with their peers, as exemplified by the ubiquity of instant messaging and similar synchronous communication. Repurposing inexpensive devices bought for entertainment to use for learning in and out of school potentially offers powerful leverage for increasing achievement and equity.”

Although technology is never “value free”, I suggest we consider all technology and begin to “leverage it” for increased student achievement.

Are you with me?