Last week the tech trainer in one of our schools was told by her AP that all the classroom computers would be put in storage next year while the building was being renovated.
In a district as big as ours, there are always some buildings undergoing renovation and schools do a good job of moving instructional spaces around the construction.
As far as technology is concerned, our IT department is pretty good at extending network connections into the “learning cottages” which serve as temporary classrooms.
Of course, there are always problems with some equipment damaged or stolen during major upheaval like that. But it’s usually far less than you might expect.
However, in this case, the decision of this AP didn’t disturb me as much as his justification.
In effect, he said that it didn’t matter whether students had access to computers since nothing in the curriculum makes their use mandatory.
How do you argue with that? He’s right.
Look through all of the materials distributed by our curriculum specialists and, other than a few middle and high school classes, there is no mention of technology being a necessary tool for teaching anything.
We don’t need a connection to the web for learning and students are not required – or even encouraged – to present their ideas to an audience outside the four walls of their classroom.
There are certainly some teachers in our system who make excellent use of the technology they have available every day. For them, losing their computers for a week would be difficult.
However, except for administrators expecting teachers to use email, most classrooms would function just fine if all computers were locked away.
How do you argue with that?