Lessons Learned from a Chalkboard: Slow and Steady Technology Integration
by Bradley A. Ermeling - April 13, 2015
This commentary compares Japanese and US approaches for integrating technology in K-12 classroom environments. While many American schools are consumed by a haphazard race to adopt the latest gadgets and new innovations, often these devices function as little more than expensive and colorful accessories with minimal influence on existing instructional methods. In other cases, devices sit unused, collect dust, and soon become obsolete, costing thousands of dollars in upgrades. Despite Japanís much slower pace of technology adoption, one might argue that Japanese educators are well ahead of the US in effective technology integration. Using the chalkboard and bansho (board-writing) as an example, this article describes how Japanís slow and steady integration approach enables educators to deliberately study and build knowledge about which technologies best facilitate particular learning opportunities. The US should take note and consider a more purposeful integration strategy that emphasizes efficacy over hasty implementation.
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