“An important theme that emerged from two of my stories in this issue, one about the infrastructure needed to support digital textbooks in the classroom and another about the potential of e-readers to aid students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities, was the enormous potential that technology has to meet some of the challenges in education today, but only if those technolgies are thoroughly researched, evaluated, and critiqued before investing in them. While digital textbooks can be altered with the click of a button, and e-readers can individualize text to suit the preferences of struggling readers, neither is a silver bullet for learning, and education administrators must do their homework before buying into emerging technologies.”
Patricia Mohr | [email protected]
“I thoroughly enjoyed working on the article about the marriage of netbooks and open source to create cost-effective 1-to-1 computing programs. The story is essentially about the spontaneous innovation that takes root in large and small ways when technology directors, principals, and teachers collaborate to adopt new teaching and learning strategies. As a freelance journalist, I find the realm of open-source computing intriguing and inspiring. Open-source innovation, much like high-quality journalism, does not have a direct business model supporting individual efforts. But it produces a societal value that makes it worthwhile for one to choose to do the hard work necessary to improve schools and other organizations.”
“It seems we always get to this point: First, we praise the technology. Then we expand and develop it until it becomes commonplace. And then we blame the technology for the new problems that arise. It’s a tempting cycle to fall into, especially with the two topics I covered for this issue of the magazine. With mobile phones, teachers and parents often snap that those devices are to blame for student behavioral problems. And with filtering, teachers and staff members often blame the filter itself for restricting access to educational content. The real breakthrough comes in the step beyond the blame, when technology users critically consider how to alter that use to eliminate those problems and solve others.”
Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 10Published in Print: October 20, 2010, as DD Writers
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