Are we making progress in instructional technology?

Apple IIc
© Alexios Chouchoulas. Source: The Machine Room

Without stating my age, my first computer at home was an Apple IIc, and my favorite program was Print Shop (ouch). Since that time I have fallen in love with the idea of technology for all users. As a matter of fact, I’ve devoted the bulk of my educational life to this end, not for the sake of technology, but for the added value it brings to our lives and the tools it lends to our learners.

So, I am reflecting today on some of the changes I have seen. Teachers are beginning to allow themselves to step down from the pulpit, and they are actually finding themselves in a position to learn from their students. That is a major leap. Are we making changes in the way students form their own knowledge?

Will teachers allow students to turn in different projects to express what they have learned or do we still need to have a ten-page research paper that is double-spaced?

Is digital better? Some of our Asian friends have decided to withdraw from the “all digital textbooks by 2015” initiative for fear that so much time on a screen may prove to be detrimental to their children (see “In South Korean classrooms, digital textbook revolution meets some resistance“- Washington Post, March 24, 2012).

digital textbook pic
© Rob Kovacs

Yet, how exciting is it to turn a digital page and find a video explaining the very concept you were having trouble understanding? Are we willing to adjust our school budgets to accommodate a digital school environment?

What are your thoughts from your experience? Are we making progress or falling farther behind? How would you know if we’re making headway?

Renita Heideman

Renita Heideman

Renita leads the Technology Assistance Group, working in the area of technology and curriculum providing technology leadership, planning, and professional development. Renita has had a wide range of educational roles including teacher, athletic coach, technology coordinator, curriculum director, and technology supervisor. She has served as an adjunct professor for Wright State and Ashland Universities. Renita completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Miami University.

phone: 513.674.4312
email: renita.heideman@hcesc.org
Renita Heideman

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Renita Heideman

Renita leads the Technology Assistance Group, working in the area of technology and curriculum providing technology leadership, planning, and professional development. Renita has had a wide range of educational roles including teacher, athletic coach, technology coordinator, curriculum director, and technology supervisor. She has served as an adjunct professor for Wright State and Ashland Universities. Renita completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Miami University. phone: 513.674.4312 email: renita.heideman@hcesc.org