Oct 31 2006

How IT Fits into Education

Ed Tech readers share their challenges with IT leadership in education and their thoughts on the Summer 2005 edition.

Ed Techreaders share their classroom and IT leadership challenges. One reader ponders how to stretch limited time, prioritize tasks and make smart decisions.

Providing a Showcase

At the Springfield School District, we’re proud of our dedicated teachers and the innovative forensic course at the high school. We are enthusiastic about this new program and appreciated how you showcased it in the Summer 2005 issue of Ed Tech.

Thank you for the professional story (“Solving Imaginary Crimes”) and cover photo, which was so well done. Our district values Ed Tech, which presents cutting-edge information and helpful feedback.

—Rina Vassallo
Director of Teaching and Learning
Springfield School District
Springfield, Pa.

Enjoying the Tour

Your “‘Solving Imaginary Crimes ” issue (Summer 2005) has some great articles. I enjoyed “A Second Tour of Duty ” (Teaching the Teacher), which talked about retired veterans teaching in the classroom.

Some of the biggest challenges in middle school are kids trying to stand up to teachers and talking back. A good relationship with students based on respect lets you and your class stay on track.

I would love to see some results on whether technology is producing the desired effect. Would all students find school and learning more enjoyable if they had the opportunity to be in schools with strong technological resources?

I’ve been in classrooms in a suburban area near New York City. It appears that many kids are not interested in learning, and tech is not a large part of the learning experience in these schools.

Kids are extremely interested in anything that has to do with technology. If teachers took this interest and applied it to their classrooms, students and teachers would be more successful.

—Scott Bush, Master’s Student
Instructional Technology for Educators
New York Institute of Technology
New York City

A Four-Star Rating

I want to thank Ed Tech for featuring Miami Lakes Educational Center in the Summer 2005 edition (Tinfoil Star, “Wanted: More Women in IT ”). Our students and faculty were delighted with the story.

Our Cisco Network Academy provides innovative training, and we encourage young women to take part in the program. Once they try it, they realize they can do just as well as—or better than—the boys.

—Laura Gutierrez, Teacher
Miami Lakes Educational Center
Miami Lakes, Fla.

Maximizing Time

I read the Summer 2005 issue of Ed Tech nearly cover to cover. Congratulations on a well-written issue.

One topic I’d like covered in the future is how to best use limited time for duties to support staff and students. How should you prioritize? How can you make smart decisions?

Another issue revolves around training: What’s the best strategy to effectively train 100 high school teachers on a new electronic grading program? Also, how can you disseminate technology info throughout the year when there is no reimbursement for attending training?

—Ruth Milliken
Education Technology Specialist
Farmington High School
Farmington, N.M.

Seeing the Big Picture

As I read the article about thin clients (How To, “Thin Clients to the Rescue,” Winter 2004), one thing came to mind: Did you check with district administration? Although I see the benefits, how did this project tie into the district’s overall plan? What expense(s) has the district had to incur to satisfy the needs of the network, technical support and software?

I am an administrator in a district that is struggling with this issue. The biggest problem is when a site does something similar to what was done in your article, but without district “supervision.”

—Charles Baker, District Administrator

Ed Tech response: The thin-client project at Temescal Canyon High School was an innovative response to tight budgets that took advantage of available hardware and in-house technical expertise. Our story did not investigate the impact of this project on the school district, but Mr. Baker makes a key point: IT projects must coexist effectively within larger IT strategies.

Summarizing the Options

Thank you for your article “A Computer for Every Child ” in the Summer issue of Ed Tech. The article was a good summary of the options for introducing one-to-one computers in a school. I found the “Seven Steps to Make One-to-One Computing a Success” sidebar especially useful.

—Craig Williams, CIO
Naperville Community Unit School
District 203
Naperville, Ill.

Send Us Your Lesson Plans

Are you motivating students with technology-integrated curricula? If so, submit your tech-based lesson plans (500-1,000 words) for possible inclusion in Ed Tech’s Tech in the Curriculum supplement to be published in March 2006. If your lesson plan is used, your school will receive a $1,000 donation to help boost its technology programs. To submit entries, visit www.edtechmag.com and click on the “feedback” button on the left navigation bar. Entries will be accepted through December 20, 2005.