I have been invited to speak tomorrow on an education panel at the state-spnosored Colorado IT Summit through a pleasant coincidence of connections, and think that the convergence of information technology and education, particularly K-12 education, is a darn interesting and critically important topic.
Here are the two questions I’ll be asked by the moderator during my portion of the panel:
- From your recent experience, what’s an example or two of current technologies or methodologies that measurably improve educational results?
- The U.S. is most innovative county in the world and yet we rank poorly against other developed countries in educational performance. In your mind how can we harness that culture of innovation to improve the U.S. ranking in educational performance?
What are your thoughts on these two topics?
I have definite opinions on the value – and cost – of technology in the classroom and when “Net Day” was such a big event, I even wrote, but didn’t publish, a bit of a screed about how wiring classrooms for the Internet was a colossal waste of time and completely avoided the real problems that our children face in trying to get a solid education in our massive, unwieldy public educational system.
You might not know this, but I have a Masters Degree in Educational Computing from Purdue and spent years in the top-rated Purdue School of Education, even guest-lecturing once or twice to undergraduate education students, the young people who have become the teachers of today and will be the teachers of tomorrow too.
And y’know what?
It was shocking to see how computer illiterate they were.
Sure, they could use Microsoft Word and probably manage basic Google searches (alright, when I went to grad school Google was still a gleam in Sergie’s eye) but their grasp of the implications of technology and its ability to help or hinder the basic educational process, or, heck, even just have computers integrated into a lesson plan, was non-existent.
But that’s another story. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the two questions I’m going to be asked tomorrow…