Recently there have been many posts in the media and by various bloggers responding to this OECD report that was recently released.
Everywhere you look there are articles posted. Articles like this one from The Wall Street Journal. And this one from Huffington Post. And these two articles from the BBC here and here.
The basic summary of all of these articles – adding technology to a school does not equal improved test scores or student achievement. Students with a moderate use of technology perform the best on this assessment. Putting effort into developing basic math and reading ability with students provides much more benefit then simply spending on technology.
As a tech coach, I believe in teaching with technology. However, the KEY here is good teaching and using the best tool for the task. Varying our activities (novelty and variety), providing opportunities for students to engage in authentic tasks, providing frequent checks for understanding and immediate feedback are all marks of great teaching that can be accomplished with or without technology.
I remember reading somewhere that tech in schools acts as a magnifying glass – it amplifies great teaching and also zooms in on bad teaching.
We are approaching a new district shift here toward 1:1 (district provided devices) and we spent our professional development session on Friday beginning the prep work. I work in a school with over 280 teachers and I am the only tech coach. We do not have an instructional coach or other academic coaching staff. Supporting big, important change like this is hard work and is going to take a lot of planning ahead of time. We are starting now by planting ideas and having discussions, encouraging individual successes, strengthening the teachers who will serve as our tech team, meeting teachers where they are and moving them forward, improving overall instruction and of course building relationships.
Creating change – this kind of big, real, transformational shifts in our school is not easy. But it’s worth it!
What advice do you have as we take on this huge change?