Editors Desk: Times are changing (for real) - Tech Learning

Editors Desk: Times are changing (for real)

Two recent school tours this fall have convinced me thatthe phrase “reinvention of education” may finally bemore than cliche.
Publish date:

Two recent school tours this fall have convinced me that the phrase “reinvention of education” may finally be more than cliche. The first was through the 80-student Merit Prep Charter School in Newark, NJ. Everything about the place was new: the faint smell of drying paint; fresh-faced Teach for America instructors; students marching through experimental, 10-hour rotating instruction shifts of small group instruction and solo time using laptops and earphones. The second was the John Adams Middle School in Edison, NJ, the first middle school in the US to be equipped with Promethean ActivTables, (see photo). While the Adams’ classrooms still had desks in rows and three-ring binders stuffed with worksheets, it also carried a chaotic vibrancy of sixth-graders working in the corners, Googling research and trading presentations as they hunched over chemistry and social studies projects. It would have made any 21st Century Learning guru proud.

Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title

What made these tours different than so many others over the years were the students. Instead of awkward show ponies pretending to play with this or that “revolutionary technology” solution, these children were actively engaged in their learning and proud to show off what they were doing. Here’s the other thing—none saw the technology or the access to the Internet as a big deal. Of course they could instantly find where Abraham was buried (the Cave of Machpelah, near Hebron) or the density of Magnesium (1.738 g/mL)! We’re going to keep following these schools as they continue to reinvent themselves. Be sure to let us know about your tales of changes as well!

— Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director



Editor's Desk

Back in 2001, when we first took an in-depth look at laptop initiatives for schools ("Laptop Lessons: Exploring the Promise of One—to—One Computing," by Kim Carter, May 2001), it felt as if we were on the verge of the next big breakthrough. As is so often the case with technology, however, the ensuing

Image placeholder title

Editors Desk: Minecraft Mania

While I am probably the last guy to be a Ludditewhen it comes to kids on computers, even Iam a bit leery when it comes to the addictivenature of Minecraft.

Editor's Desk(2)

With shrinking budgets and increasing demands to track and support student progress, train staff, customize each learner's instructional experience, and keep pace with the newest workplace technologies, the smart allocation of funds is more essential than ever for schools. With that in mind, we have chosen to focus on