Technology – Pros and Cons for Schools
Leader Talk blogs have recently highlighted technology issues. As a superintendent, I spend a great deal of time thinking about how to fund technology and utilize technology to help teachers improve instruction so students can learn at higher levels. Our school system is committed to promoting technology in the classroom. We have promoted the use of virtual courses, pod-casting, smartboards, blogs, wikis, and numerous other innovations for which I cannot always remember the correct name!! Our school system even allows cell phones, however, they must not be present during instruction. The cell phones serve the purpose of communicating with parents before and after school.
Across the nation, there is much debate in classrooms at the K-12, college, and even adult training about allowing the use of technology during instruction and training. I have observed numerous meetings and trainings where adults were utilizing Blackberry devices and lap top computers to stay in touch with their e-mails and surf the web when they got bored with the training. How many of us have been in a meeting and someone’s cell phone goes off and rather than apologize for the interruption and turn the phone off, they answer the phone while leaving the room? In our school system we have a team norm for all meetings that cell phones must be off or on vibrate.
The recent use of camera phones has led to many problems with student privacy. All of us have heard of the students who staged fights, attacks on teachers, practical jokes, and other incidents and then taped them for play on YouTube or MySpace.
The new MP3 players and I-Pods create tremendous tools for teaching and learning, however, they also can create excellent opportunities for students to cheat on tests. With the space available on one of these devices, the entire textbook and teacher lectures could easily be recorded, digitized and made searchable just in time for the final exam. It...