Saturday, May 5, 2007

What are the questions you want asked?

Please let us know... what are the questions you would like to see researched surrounding the educational use of technology?

The first question comes from a participant...

A set of questions and answers about when ICT is necessary and when it isn't important to use in the classroom. For example, PowerPoints and handouts.


  • don't assume equal access to resources
  • provide resources
  • non-technological options are important for teachers and students
  • open and encourage a dialogue of effective use
  • get teachers and students involved in the dialogue of equity and technology, often both are taught separately, but help bridge the knowledge gap between the two
  • Schools of education play an important role; new teachers are not neccesarily ready for computers in the classroom; new teachers are more likely to assume universal access; make the connection between equity and technology within B.Ed. programs, same issues here... the two are often taught separately.
  • talk about how access to technology can be a disadvantage; add a critical voice to the discussion.

Other thoughts discussed...

I didn't get a chance to post these yesterday... but some important discussion points are in here.

Regarding home access - is it school boards' responsibility to do more at the policy level to support home access, especially if home access is essential for educational success? One participant mentioned the school computer recycling program, where last years computers are donated to low-income families. A question of open source software was asked... perhaps providing low income families and schools with programs like "open office". A participant noted that Star Office (an open source Office program) is available for free and was widely distributed, however, he noted that people have, what he called "office envy" where parents, students and teachers, have largely rejected the use of this program and prefer to have the "Microsoft" version of the office suite...

It's not only about equal access. It's about the perceptions and attitudes of the teachers and students. One participant noted that a school website is not seen as part of the "Internet" per se by students who access it. Perhaps if the students were allowed to take ownership of the websites and make it their own, it could foster that sense of virtual community surrounding the school that is seen in other virtual community settings.

Using technology in educational settings requires supportive environments and supportive teaching and learning. There is tension between the personalized nature and characteristics of ICT and the systemic characteristics of the education system. One participant noted that the Internet represented chaos into the classroom where the main goal is to create order.