Still Waiting on the Revolution

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While cleaning out some boxes recently, I ran across a book about educational technology that I first read almost twenty years ago, early in my time working with tech coaches to help teachers integrate computers in their classrooms.

In the book, “Oversold and Underused”, the author observed that teachers were not making effective use of all the new technology that was flooding into schools, and that most of the applications simply reproduced traditional practices. It certainly rang a bell with what I was seeing.

Flash forward to now, has anything changed?

Not really.

Schools have greatly increased spending on devices, software, and network connections in the past twenty years. But we still are not making meaningful use of all that stuff. And we seem to be trying harder than ever to wedge technology into a traditional classroom model.

Of course, the big difference from twenty years ago is that many, if not most, of our students are carrying powerful networking devices in their pockets. Devices they use to communicate, create, and learn. Acquiring knowledge and learning skills in which they are interested, but likely unrelated to the curriculum required in their formal schooling.

Beginning well before the beginning of this century, we were told that computers would revolutionize education. The technology is undoubtedly here, but we’re still waiting for the educational revolution.

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