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Using Technology In the Classroom - Is It Really Happening?

Our schools today are so focused on having teachers use technology in the classroom. However, too often what that means is that a teacher has replaced an overhead with a document camera. It means that the school has bought LCD projectors to replace the archaic overheads. Great, we have new tools and have spent way more money to do the exact same thing.

This is not using technology in the classroom. All it is doing is using a new tool to do the same thing. This is not an acceptable change in our schools.

Starting at the district level, the schools need to require that things be done differently. Using technology in the classroom does not mean using a tool to replace an old tool. It means changing how your presenting the lessons. It means changing your presentation style. It means looking at what you are teaching and seeing if there is a way of using modern resources to provide the necessary training.

If our schools do not start to learn how to do this properly, our children are going to fall farther and farther behind in the global economy. If we want to catch up, we need to learn how to do this better.

Instead of using your LCD projector to present the scanned worksheets, consider creating interactive content for using web-based services that provide a media rich and meaningful experience for your students.

Instead of always having your children right in their journal, provide an avenue for them to write and comment on blogs online. Of course, create a safe environment for this, but this is how they are going to write for the rest of their lives.

Encourage collaboration through group based websites. Allow them to share documents, comments, presentations, and so much more, all with free applications like Google Docs or Zoho. Give your children access to technology that they are going to use. It is not about the tool. It is about the opportunity to experience what currently exists while building the skills they're going to need for a lifetime. That can only happen by truly using the technology that's there.
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