Computers Succeed With Teacher Expertise

I found a little snippet from this morning about a teacher receiving an award for his textbook-less classroom. Teacher gleans federal kudos for bookless classroom is one of the full articles I found when I Googled his name and it makes for interesting reading. The teacher, Gerry Mangus, class's test scores are way up and show that if teachers do the legwork in terms of using the technology to harness the learning, amazing results can follow. What could I do to get a class full of computers? That's where I hope I can use IWB technology to improve student learning as our network structure isn't set up for his model (nor is our budgets!) Still, the point is, the teacher makes the difference not just the supplying the computers and the online connection.

And who couldn't love a teacher who's into golf as well.

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2 thoughts on “Computers Succeed With Teacher Expertise

  1. Molly Moran

    I completely agree that if the teacher does the leg work a completely text-free classroom can be accomplished, but wont the students be missing out on some valuable skills? You are so right with your comment budgets and the fact that schools can simply not afford to have computers in all classrooms. I feel it is important to intergrate technology into the classroom but make sure that it is not the main attraction in the lessons. It should be enhancing learning not replacing books. Teachers are the differences. Thanks for pointing that out.

  2. James

    Great post, Graham…

    The tech savvy would love a computer soaked classroom, which would introduce a myriad of new classroom management challenges as well as a huge ability for tech. integration…
    I hear your woes, as the classroom I use has 4 computers, all rejects from the computer lab that look good in the classroom but cough and sputter when you attempt to do more with them. For example: my students can only post to our blog on one of the computers, as it is running ie 6.0.
    That problem would probably be easily solved by upgrading the other computers, but that involves getting our tech person involved as she is the only one with admin access…and she is flooded most of the time.

    It would be great to have a computer for each student to use when applicable. Some classrooms and districts on mainland British Columbia are using laptop initiatives right now, which is amazing. In the summer edition of the BC Teacher’s Association mag. there was a story run on a school or district that has laptops (apples to boot!) for every student in gr.6-7. If my memory serves correctly, they were looking at extending the initiative to include gr.8 as well. Pretty amazing stuff. The article stated that it was meant to be used in helping improve writing…wow.

    The problem I see with that (which, to be honest, I am really jazzed about it overall..) is what happens when these students exit the initiative? Have they learned to learn better and be better thinkers and writers, or will they have learned dependance….when they exit the laptop program, will they go through ‘tech’ withdrawl? or will they be able to access tech. Is this setting up for elitism, where families who can afford laptops can continue to ‘enrich’ their student’s learning by providing continued access??
    I have been told this can be as affordable as 5 dollars per month for students if the school is signed up for an initiative….

    A few thoughts….I agree with the idea of the ‘paperless classroom’ and am pushing for less and less paper in my own, but i wonder about what Molly says above….does it restrict certain experiences…i wonder if we loose some important learning by getting books out. There is something about ‘slow’ learning that i think is important. or maybe that is my old ‘digital immigrant’ self riling its’ head….
    what do you think?

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