Thursday, February 5, 2009

Faster - Tech Dollars and Innovation

If you haven't realized it yet, change is the new "standard" or "constant" in life today, whether it is banking, shopping, education, whatever. And all of it is touched by technology. The recent article in THE Journal by Chris Riedel points our what is going on in education and how we can work on making it better. This article refers to Mark Benno's talk at FETC in Orlando. Interesting fact: "Nine out of 10 students don't wear wristwatches." What do they do? They use other technology - cell phones, music players (mine shows time and date), computers, other tech gear usually has date and time - often in many time zones. He goes on to say that it takes educators about seven years to adapt to new technology and integrate it into the curriculum (going through five stages: entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriation, innovation). Unfortunately, technology changes so much faster than that. The good news is that research shows that with professional development it takes two and one-half years instead of seven years to total integration and innovation. Hooray! Save those dollars in the budgets for instructional technology--even in tight budget times, these dollars allow better usage of dollars already spent on the hardware and software while giving students relevant and timely instruction. Whether we keep up or not, our students use technology in many ways. Allowing students to collaborate--use a wiki--share information, revise, and continue sharing and refining is one of the answers to collaborative learning. It is practical. Thinking and problem solving has always been a goal, now it has gone global and collaboration with technology is certainly that. It used to be, "what do you know?" Then it was "how do you find or locate it?" Now it is choosing "what technologies you use to solve your problems."

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