CNET ran an article today titled, Thanks for the PC. What do I do with it? The article was written in response to a recent survey in which more than two-thirds of teachers said they were not seeing substantial academic improvements as a result of one-to-one computing programs. The article goes on to cite a recent panel discussion at the Future in Review where the panelists pointed to a lack of “how-to” training for teachers as the reason schools aren’t seeing significant improvement. One panelist made the argument that there are hundreds of years of teaching methods based on books and there is only a decade or so of teaching methods with computers.
The panelists are correct. Too often the emphasis from local, state, and national government is on standards and reporting. The standards are written based on old methodology therefore anyone trying to develop new methods to teach with technology runs the risk of not meeting standards. The danger of not meeting standards prevents some schools from trying new methodology including teaching with technology. The safe thing for schools to do is to focus on reporting methods and minor tweaking of old methodology. Until schools make whole-hearted commitments to training teachers on methods and means of teaching with technology, the success of one-to-one computing programs will remain limited.