Monday, January 10, 2005


Vision for a tech based curriculum.

Suppose its 2008 and we have come to the end of the planning period we are describing in our tech plan update (2005-2008). What can we say looking back on our experiences? For example,
"Since the implementation of our technology-based, high-achievement curriculum, St. Mary's students are pursuing new topics of study that previously were unavailable to them. Standardized test scores are beginning to rise and enrollment is oversubscribed in all grades."

What are the five top goals we have as justification for becoming a laptop school? Examples might be "increase standardized test scores," "increase elective courses or advanced courses throught online study," "increase demand for enrollment at St. Mary's," "teach students using the same structure and tools used by top colleges and universities," "encourage self guided avenue of study to allow students to advance beyond standard course curriculum." What are other example goals that we can consider?

Why can't we acheive these same goals relying on laptop carts?

I just distributed an article from CNN that notes the following benefits to using technology in schools.

"more schools are using technology to offer tutoring, track student performance and increase communication between parents and teachers."

"At least 15 schools provide some form of "virtual schooling," in which young students gain access to individual instruction online."

"teachers have access to to student profiles, including historical data, parent contacts and liks to other teachers. Teachers can filter the data ... to compate achievement and identify weaknesses"

"teachers assign online reading lessons and tutoring based on each student's mastery of the curriculum."

"students proceed on assignments at their own pace"

An implied thought is that using a laptop will result in a net reduction in the weight of backpacks.

Also, "Money for technology can come from reallocating exisitng budgets and basing all spending decisions on whether they support learning"

Full text of article:
The following two vision statements are paraphrasing the author Norm quoted on his web site (Mari G). Throughout the school we are now cognizant of the fact that more information is available today than ever before(due to digital technology) and new ways of acquiring information are essential.

We have learned that preparing students for the 21st century means teaching them to "learn how to learn," leading to successful liflong learning rather than simply teaching them what we know today. In "learning how to learn," students have taken charge of their education through direct exploration, expression and experience. A learning revolution has occurred with our technology-driven, student-centered teaching model.
Prepare students for a higher educational environment and real world that demands increasingly autonomous use of technology and where students are required to learn how to solve problems interdependently.
Courses applying real data and information, recovered and retrieved online, managed and shaped in the learning process, require individual and equitable access to technology. COWS don't provide this; laptops do.
well stated louise. Students dealing with real world data and real world problems. Wargaming if you would.
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