Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Course Conclusion -- Blog #3

Well, the first part of my teaching online endorsement course is almost over.  While I am not a novice at computers, internet or technology in general, I still found the course inviting and interesting.  It is always fun to hear how others either are or speculate how they will use technology in their classroom.  I have always been a proponent of classroom technology as long as it does not become the focus of the education.  I worked for a year at a school which embraced technology.  Even their name oozed innovation, Central City Cyber School.  The classrooms were equipped with smart boards, LCD projectors, credit card entry points, online cameras, a cyber library, and every student got a laptop.  AND there were no textbooks.  Mind you, it started that way over ten years ago. 

The innovation and use of technology at Cyber School was truly impressive.  However, after the first few years, they no longer allowed the students to take the laptops home as they were often lost, stolen, damaged or sold.  The school also had a hard time maintaining battery life for an entire day.  The technology was at an infant stage and the principal correctly emphasized that the technology was not the focus – student learning was and the technology was simply an optional tool toward a successful outcome. 

Today, technology has caught-up.  Lithium batteries will run up to 8 hours, laptops, hard drives, and cameras are cheap and smart phones with online storage and fast 4G access would overwhelm much of Cyber School’s original technology.   Today, the idea of “online” education is a reality as many districts across the country adopt online schools or have public WIFI throughout their campuses.  As the singers of the sixties lamented, “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”  Innovation and its use in the classroom is no longer limited to the classroom.  It is exciting to be at the brink of a new way to educate our nation.  I can’t wait to see what is coming next.


  1. I wonder how Cyber school is doing now, ten years later. I am glad to hear that the emphasis is on learning through technology and not the other way around. I sometimes worry that we may focus too much attention on technology and not enough on the actual learning although I do not believe our district is at that point, thankfully. At the Ipad training I attended earlier this week, the speaker pointed out that today's learner actually process information differently than we do (seasoned teachers). Because they were raised in a digital world, their brains work differently. We would be negligent if we didn't seriously consider this in education.

  2. I have been waiting for 40 years for the "open classroom" experience and now I can see it evolving in the digital classroom and cyberspace. I do have my concerns, however in terms of accessibility and equity of digital tools, time to develop, manage and assess coursework and learning. Finally, I worry that teachers will be so busy building coursework, they will not have time to develop relationships that can help students become the best they can be and provide them with opportunities for future success.