Technology in the Classroom: Thinking Beyond the Machines
This chapter presents key questions that educators should ask about the use of technology in education. Coming to an understanding of what it means to effectively integrate technology impacts decisions in the areas of policy, purchasing, hiring, staff development, scheduling, planning, assessment, classroom management, and even to the arrangement of classroom furniture. However, more sophisticated simulation software brings distant locales right into the classroom, refines students' skills to locate and analyze vast amounts of historical data, and leads to increased fact recall, enhanced problem solving, and personal initiative. A debate pits advocates of placing computers into common labs, a cost-effective solution that gives all students in all grade levels a chance to use the machines, an option that provides learners on- demand access required for technology to be an integral part of the learning process. Data-informed thinking also helps school and district leaders to demonstrate accountability needed to meet federal regulations on reporting demanded by the No Child Left Behind.