Equal Access Doesn't Equal Seat Time - Tech Learning

Equal Access Doesn't Equal Seat Time

We have a computer lab and every class gets to spend the same amount of time in the lab each week. However, when I visit the lab, I see that some teachers have students working on a variety of different technology-based activities while others seem to rely exclusively on drill and practice software to fill the time.
Author:
Publish date:

We have a computer lab and every class gets to spend the same amount of time in the lab each week. However, when I visit the lab, I see that some teachers have students working on a variety of different technology-based activities while others seem to rely exclusively on drill and practice software to fill the time. Are we really giving all our students equal access to our instructional technology program?

While they may be spending identical amounts of time in the lab, equal access is more than seat time. The children whose instructional technology activities are limited to drill and practice do not have the same quality experience as those children who are engaging in a broad spectrum of activities that capitalize on the unique capabilities of computers and telecommunications. That doesn't mean that there isn't a time and place for drill and practice. However, if this is the only technology exposure children have, they are not being afforded equal access.

The situation you describe calls for discussion with your staff to find out why there is such a disparity in activities. You may need to offer targeted professional development to assist teachers in moving to more sophisticated levels of instructional use and/or reconsider existing grade level expectations for technology-supported curriculum.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

Next Tip: Does Your Computer Have You on a Leash?

Featured

Related

Image placeholder title

Time

For as long as I can remember, I've held the belief that the expression "I don't have time" is a cop-out for people who don't have the courage to say "what you're talking about just isn't that important to me."

Timing is Everything

Tip: When you are on a tight schedule, it can be very helpful to assist your audience in doing the same. I downloaded a little utility for my computer that puts a countdown clock on the screen. Whenever I have a specific time limit for a group interaction or a break, I throw it up there for participants to see. It

Maximize Student Time-on-Task

Question: What are some strategies for maximizing student time-on-task in the computer lab and minimizing wasted time with non-curricular technology tasks? The IT Guy says: Student time in the computer lab is generally in short supply. Teaching and encouraging the use of “template files” can be an effective

Administrators Accessing the Effectiveness of Technology

By Steven Moskowitz and Sarah Martabano Today district and building level administrators are busier than ever As districts continue to invest in new more advanced technologies, school building administrators are being charged with the added responsibility of overseeing and managing

Time and Assessment

Tip: Time is one of the biggest obstacles to technology integration for my staff, along with just being aware of what can be done. Our district requires 3 days of technology based staff development over the summer (these days are comped during the school year). The staff may plan their own staff development based

Image placeholder title

Infrastructure, Bandwidth and Access

The challenges facing CIOs, IT directors, and others responsible for planning and maintaining district infrastructure continue to grow under pressure from a variety of factors.