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Myths and Realities about Technology in K-12 Education


Myths and Realities about Technology in K-12 Education. Glenn Kleiman ... Technology can have significant impact on how we teach and how we learn ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Myths and Realities about Technology in K-12 Education

Myths and Realities about Technology in K-12
  • Glenn Kleiman
  • EDC Center for Online Professional Education
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education

Starting Assumptions
  • Technology is changing our world
  • Technology is changing what our students need to
  • Technology can have significant impact on how we
    teach and how we learn
  • The core of K-12 education remains unchanged
    good teaching will always be the key

Technology can help teachers and students
  • access information
  • develop basic skills
  • explore
  • record
  • organize
  • analyze
  • produce
  • create
  • communicate
  • practice
  • individualize
  • collaborate
  • and lots more!

The Challenge
  • Putting these capabilities to effective use

Discussion Question
  • What are some misconceptions, unrealistic
    expectations, or myths you have encountered
    about technology in K-12 education?

Myth 1
  • Putting computers into schools will directly
    improve learning more computers will result in
    greater improvements.

Eyes on your own work
Keep your eyes on your own screen.
Research from Union City, NJ
  • Systemic reform with technology can have
    significant positive impact on student learning
    in high need districts
  • It isnt quick, it isnt easy, and it isnt just
    about hardware, wires, and basic training in
    their use
  • Thanks to Fred Carrigg, Executive Director for
    Academic Programs, Union City NJ Schools, for the
    following information

Union City, New Jersey
  • 60,000 Residents In 1.4 Square Miles
  • 1990 Census - Most Densely Populated Urban
    Community In The U.S.
  • 48 Blocks Long, 5 Avenues Wide
  • One School Every 4 Blocks

Union City SchoolDistrict Demographics
  • 9803 students, 14 schools
  • 93 Latino, 95 Minority
  • 68 do not speak English at home
  • 32 are enrolled in bilingual/ESL programs
  • 14 have been in the country less than 3 years
  • 80 receive free or reduced lunch

  • Verge of NJ state Takeover
  • Failed 44 of 52 state Indicators
  • Low Test Scores
  • Poor Staff and Student Attendance
  • Inadequate Resources (textbooks, materials and
  • Little Staff Professional Development
  • Inadequate Community Participation and Support

Union CityDistrict Wide Restructuring
  • New
  • Urban Model
  • Awarded State Certification (1995)
  • Passing rates for 8th grade 8 EWT 80
  • Old
  • Failing District
  • Threatened with State Takeover (1989)
  • Passing Rates for 8th grade EWT 30-35

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Key Components of Systemic Reform to Create a
Technology Friendly Environment
  • Organizational Changes
  • Curricular and Methodological
  • Time and Space
  • Cooperative and Collaborative Environment
  • Staff Development
  • Systematic
  • Individualized
  • Long Term
  • Technology resources

Union City District Wide Restructuring
  • Old
  • Traditional Curriculum based on texts rote
  • Traditional periods
  • Computer labs with separate curriculum
  • Subject area teaching
  • Central management
  • Limited professional development
  • Limited parent involvement
  • New
  • Inquiry based instruction with authentic
  • Block scheduling
  • Classrooms with integrated technology
  • Interdisciplinary teaching
  • School-based management
  • Continuous professional development
  • Increased parental involvement

Five Factors for Success in Union City
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Strong base of teacher support
  • Teachers at the center of curriculum revision and
    school decision making
  • Sufficient funding from a variety of sources
  • Attention to public relations
  • For more info http//

Reality 1
  • There will be minimal educational return from
    technology investments unless technology is one
    component of a well-designed educational
    improvement plan.

Discussion Question
  • What educational purposes should technology serve?

Myth 2
  • There are agreed-upon goals and "best practices"
    that define how computers should be used in K-12

Findings of the National Teaching, Learning and
Computing National Survey
  • Directed by Hank Becker, UC-Irvine
  • Funded by U.S. Dept of Ed and NSF
  • Detailed survey of national sample of schools and
  • All reports are available at http//www.crito.uci

Teaching philosophy is linked to objectives for
computer use
  • Constructivist teachers objectives
  • communicating, presenting information,
    collaborating, getting information
  • Transmission oriented teachers objectives
  • reinforce skills and remediate skills

Computers are used more frequently when
  • Computers are in the classroom (as opposed to
  • Teachers have more expertise with computers
  • Teachers have more constructivist (vs.
    transmission) oriented approaches
  • There are longer class periods
  • In-depth learning of fewer topics is encouraged

Impact on teachers over time
Reality 2
  • Educational goals and approaches must be
    clarified and plans for purchasing, using and
    evaluating the impact of technology must be
    developed to fit those goals and approaches.

Discussion Question
  • How has your use of technology in the classroom
    changed from when you first started using it?

Myth 3
  • Once teachers learn the basics of using a
    computer they are ready to put the technology to
    effective use.

Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) research
  • With effective professional development and
    ongoing support, teachers go through stages of
    development in coming to use technology

1. Entry stage
  • teachers learning new tools themselves
  • beginning to plan classroom use
  • Will the effort be worth the results?

2. Adoption stage
  • begin to blend technology into existing classroom
  • but dont significantly change their practices
  • How can technology help me teach more effectively?

3. Adaptation stage
  • technology well integration into existing
    classroom practices
  • begins to see real benefits in students
    engagement and work
  • How can I incorporate technology more fully?

4. Appropriation stage
  • technology used by teacher and students as a
    natural element of all work
  • classroom practices begin to change somewhat
    (e.g., more project based learning, use of
    primary resources)
  • How could I ever do my job without technology?

5. Invention stage
  • technology used in exploring new ways of teaching
    and learning
  • students show high levels of skill in using
  • students show abilities to work independently and
    collaborative, problem-solve, find and evaluate
  • What should I explore next?

A General Sequence of Change
  • Entry -- why bother?
  • Adoption -- how might this be useful?
  • Adaptation -- how else can it help us?
  • Appropriation -- how could we get by without it?
  • Invention -- what new possibilities does it open
    for us?

Reality 3
  • For technology to be used fully in schools,
    significant changes are required in teaching
    practices, curriculum, and classroom
  • These changes takes place over years and require
    significant professional development and support
    for teachers.

Discussion Questions
  • What plans (of all types, not just technology)
    has your school or district developed in the last
    few years?
  • Is the use of technology integral to those plans?

Myth 4
  • The typical district technology plan is
    sufficient for putting technology to effective

Reality 4
  • To use technology effectively, we must fully
    integrate it into school improvement plans,
    professional development plans, special education
    plans, etc.
  • Technology must be viewed as providing tools to
    help us meet central educational goals, not as
    defining a new, separate set of goals.

Myth 5
  • Equity can be achieved by ensuring equal
    student-to-computer ratios

  • Oh, we finished the basic subtraction. Now
    were designing a series of interrelated
    transformational geometric comparisons.

Reality 5
  • When considering issues of equity, we need to
    examine all the essential conditions for making
    technology into effective tools for teaching and
    learning, not just the number and type of
    hardware available.

Discussion Question
  • What myths would you add to the list from your
  • List so far
  • Technology Thats all you need to succeed
  • Goals We all agree, dont we?
  • Professional Development Basic training is
  • Plans Technology is on its own
  • Equity Counting computers is the test

Some more myths
  • Putting technology in the classroom will improve
    the quality of teaching
  • Technology and web-based learning saves time and
  • The impact of technology on student achievement
    can be isolated and shown to increase student
    test scores
  • Gifted students benefit more from technology
  • If you build it they will come

Challenges for Tomorrow
To be Open to the Impact of Rapid Change
  • Writing will produce forgetfulness in the
    souls of those who have learned it, through lack
    of practice at using their memory... To your
    students you give an appearance of wisdom, not
    the reality of it... they will appear to know
    much when for the most part they know nothing..."
    (Socrates in The Phaedrus)
  • This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be
    seriously considered as a means of communication.
    (Western Union internal memo, 1876.)
  • There is no reason anyone would want a computer
    in their home. (Ken Olson, president, chairman
    and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation,

To Avoid Being Seduced by Technology
  • I believe that the motion picture is destined to
    revolutionize our educational system and that in
    a few years it will supplant largely, if not
    entirely, the use of textbooks. (Thomas A.
    Edison, 1922.)
  • With the new Internet-enabled media, the center
    of the learning experience is fundamentally
    transformed, shifting from the teacher to the
    student. And the learning process in the
    classroom is much more active, with students
    discussing, debating, researching, and
    collaborating on projects. (Don Tapscott, author
    of Growing Up Digital)

To Address 21st Century Learning Goals
Demonstrate technological literacy
Communicate using variety of media
Access and exchange information
Compile,organize and synthesize
Draw conclusions and make generalizations
Know content and locate information
Become self-directed learners
Collaborate and cooperate in teams
Interact in ethical ways (From ISTE and CEOFor
What Does It Take to Meet These Challenges?
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For More Information
  • http//
  • http//
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