Ban Drill and Practice Programs?

We’re updating our site technology plan. Many teachers still seem to think that use of drill and practice software is synonymous with technology integration. I’m tempted to just pull the plug on purchasing any more of this software and prohibit its use in the classroom. Would this work?

You might be able to put a stop to use of drill and practice software, but I’m not certain that this would accomplish what I think you’re hoping for: more effective use of technology in the classroom.

Actually, in small doses, drill and practice programs can be helpful for some students. Teachers need to understand when and how to use this type of program. They also need to understand that this is just one small part of an overall plan for classroom technology use. You will do better by emphasizing professional development in your new plan. Identify training that would help teachers expand their use of technology as an instructional tool and figure out ways to offer ongoing support as teachers implement new instructional strategies.

Increase your own skills in evaluating technology-based lessons and be prepared to spend time in classrooms observing and making suggestions. It will take time, but both teachers and students will benefit!

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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