Trimming the Technological Fat

November 24, 2008 1 min read

The teachers in Tim Stahmer’s school district have been getting lots of email reminders lately that their budget is going to take a hit as the economy continues to slide. While this is certainly going to create serious problems, Stahmer doesn’t know if it will be all bad.

Ok, so no one’s getting a raise, class sizes will be increased, an assortment of programs will be scaled back or cut, and we’re certainly not going to be buying new technology.
However, I’m wondering if that last part might not be an opportunity.

Stahmer says that being forced to cut back on technology and make do with what’s already been purchased might help schools reevaluate gadgets in the classroom.

Are those interactive whiteboards really effective teaching tools or just a highly motivational way to do the same old things?
When things get better should we buy more “clicker” (student response) systems or are they just an expensive gimmick?
Could there be better ways to use all the computers and other equipment we already have other than creating bad PowerPoint slide shows and drilling for standardized tests?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.