Teachers, Not Technicians: Rethinking Technical Expectations for Teachers
by Judith Haymore Sandholtz & Brian Reilly — 2004
Despite many efforts at the national, state, and local levels to promote the use of computers in K-12 classrooms, over the past 20 years, the impact of the computer on teaching and learning has been minimal. In this article, we examine how one school district has advanced the use of computers in the classroom by focusing first on curriculum rather than on technology. While national and state technology standards for teachers, as well as educational technology textbooks, tend to start with computer hardware and how to troubleshoot it, teachers in the district described here spend very little time on hardware or troubleshooting. Instead, as a result of district choices with regard to technology, support, and training, teachers are able to bypass the hardware and troubleshooting and move quickly to more productive and inventive uses of technology in the classroom. Our research offers a paradox for furthering the use of computers in classroomsif we take away expectations for technical skills and allow teachers to focus on developing curriculum, evaluating learning materials, and thinking about how to provide better learning opportunities for their students, teachers are likely to use technology more effectively and creatively in their teaching.
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