Opinion
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

Technology Should Fit Real Needs of Educators

December 10, 2012 1 min read

To the Editor:

I have been a big proponent of using technology in schools for years, and the Commentary “Teacher Observation: Tech or No Tech?” (Oct. 31, 2012) by Kim Marshall really struck a chord in me. As Mr. Marshall shares in his timely essay, using laptops and tablets makes teacher observations a much more difficult task.

As schools move to using laptops and iPads to do teacher evaluations, administrators may find that the high-tech tools are getting in the way of their capturing the events and interactions that really matter in the classroom.

For the past 10 years, I have been utilizing digital-pen technologies that give me the best of both worlds. I can easily create or use an existing form, print it out, and fill it in using a digital pen. In doing this I have not changed my workflow, but when I am done writing on the form, I can dock my digital pen and within seconds a PDF is created with all of my notes captured. The form can then be emailed, archived, used to populate a database, or shared as I see fit.

As I share with educators that I work with, let the end needs determine the tools that are best suited for the job—and in some cases it just may be a digital pen.

Brian S. Friedlander

Associate Professor of Education

College of St. Elizabeth

Morristown, N.J..

A version of this article appeared in the December 12, 2012 edition of Education Week as Technology Should Fit Real Needs of Educators

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