The Back Page(5) - Tech Learning

The Back Page(5)

Gleanings A Closer Look at "Failing" Schools Do schools considered "failing" under No Child Left Behind have more or less technology than the average American school? This intriguing question, asked by Market Data Retrieval in their recent Technology in Education 2003 report, yielded interesting numbers. In terms of
Publish date:


A Closer Look at "Failing" Schools

Do schools considered "failing" under No Child Left Behind have more or less technology than the average American school? This intriguing question, asked by Market Data Retrieval in their recent Technology in Education 2003 report, yielded interesting numbers. In terms of dollars, districts with failing schools spend more on technology: 41 percent exceed more than $90 per pupil for technology, compared with 35 percent of all schools. But their teachers are less skilled — and less likely — to use it. One telling stat: in 25 percent of "failing" schools, the majority of teachers are technology novices. That's compared with 18 percent of all schools.

Rx for Math and Science

Computer visionary Alan Kay's assertion that today's math and science curricula are out of step with the real world drew mixed reaction from our online poll respondents. Fifty-two percent agreed. The remaining 48 percent took some umbrage with Kay's remark. This from one educator: "If his assessment is true, then what am I doing with all of the trundle wheels, rulers, boxes of blocks, ad infinitum? I spend an enormous amount of time tying curriculum to the real world."

Debating RFID

When we asked readers their view on Radio Frequency Identification Devices — tiny tracking chips that can be embedded in anything from a library book to a student's backpack — 59 percent told us they seemed like a feasible security tool for schools. Forty-one percent, however, were less convinced. "Cheap, miniature technology allowing anyone to 'track' anyone else for any reason is profoundly disturbing to me," commented one QuickPoll taker.

Hit List


Every Thursday I get an e-mail from Checker. Checker, as he calls himself, is actually Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Ohio-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and chief author of their Education Gadfly newsletter. Gadfly doesn't even begin to describe the opinionated Finn. In one column, for example, he lays out six arguments why school boards are "an anachronism and an outrage." On the subject of teacher preparation, he asks: "how many states will have the vision and the gumption" to experiment with alternative programs? Finn, whose dazzling resume includes high-level stints at the Department of Education and some of the top research institutes in the nation, has an obvious reform agenda that includes charter schools, outsourcing, and other types of schools choice. Whether or not you agree with his views, his provocative commentaries will make you think.


Blogs may not get much buzz in the media any more — hey, even President Bush has one — but when it comes to K-12 classrooms they're still considered an emerging technology. Enter the Educational Bloggers Network, an online home for a small but passionate subculture of educators interested in harnessing Web logs for teaching reading and writing. Here you're as likely to hear from the community about obscure technical tools — such as SubEthaEdit, software that lets multiple users simultaneously edit a document — as you are about a high school that publishes their student newspaper in Web log format. You can also read about the group's recent face-to-face gathering in San Francisco, edBlogger 2003, where they shared best practices and discussed the future of digital writing. If you're a blog-loving educator, or think you might want to be one, punch in

Read other articles from the January Issue



The Back Page(2)

Gleanings The Internet Hits Home The Net has increasingly become a conduit for fostering school-to-home relations, according to CDW-G's 2003 Teachers Talk Tech survey. The study, carried out by InfoTek Research and based on phone interviews of 606 K-12 teachers, found that 63 percent of classroom teachers believe

The Back Page(6)

Gleanings Girls Building a Home on the Web Countering conventional notions about gender and technology, a new survey reveals that girls are in fact more likely than boys to have personal Web sites. "Children, Families, and the Internet," the latest study from research firm Grunwald Associates, found 12.2 percent of

The Back Page

Gleanings Summer Surfing Teachers assigning that perennial "How did you spend your summer vacation?" essay should expect to hear about kids' virtual travels as much as, if not more than, their in-the-flesh journeys. That's because youngsters are more likely to use the Net in June and July than any other time,

The Back Page(4)

Gleanings Teachers Speak Out A recent survey from Public Agenda revealed many of the nation's teachers feel that the expectations placed on them for raising student achievement are not only unrealistic, but unjust. The report found that 59 percent of the 1,345 public school teachers polled believe "it's unfair to be

The Back Page(8)

Gleanings Laptop Lessons Some heartening news for proponents of 1-to-1 computing in schools: a recent study out of Canada links wireless laptop use with improved English skills. Conducted by the Peace River North School District in British Columbia, whose Wireless Writing Project puts notebook computers in the hands

The Back Page(12)

Gleanings The Age of IM Over 53 million American adults swap instant messages on a regular basis, with Generation Y predictably leading the way, reports the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Researchers found 62 percent of Internet users aged 18-27 use instant messaging, with some 35 percent logged on an hour

The Back Page(3)

Gleanings Teen Net Use Overshadows Television A report commissioned by Yahoo! and Carat Interactive found the Internet has surpassed television and other traditional media as the "hub" of choice for today's youth. The study, which combined online surveys and focus groups, revealed that kids ages 13-18 spend an

The Back Page(9)

Gleanings The Young and the Wired A surprising percentage of kids use e-mail as early as kindergarten, according to NetDay. The nonprofit, which recently released the results of its Speak Up Day 2003 study, found 29 percent of grade K-3 students have their own e-mail accounts, compared to 45 percent for grades 4-6

The Back Page(11)

Gleanings Surf Report A new survey from Web filtering company St. Bernard Software and JAS Market Research found inappropriate Net use is alive and kicking in K-12 schools, with 59 percent of the 200 technology decision-makers polled reporting incidents ranging from students accessing games (the number one