67: Classroom tech

A Thousand Things to Talk About
67: Classroom tech


Does adding technology improve education?

Show notes and links:
Flipped Classroom (Wikipedia)
Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom (Amazon)
What Should You Know About Education Technology? (Ed-Tech Guide)

Full episode text

There was a day when giving every student their own book was a technological development of education. So was scan-tron test-taking, the extensive use of paper, power points, and movies in a classroom. Now, the question of educational technology is much more focused on iPads, computers, distance learning, and computer-based technology.

First published in 2001, the book Oversold and Underused argued that technology intended for education – at that time mostly computers in the classroom – were purchased with very little input from teachers or students, very little training, and very few guidelines on how to actually use the technology. The conditions necessary for improving education, the author argues, include teachers that know what they’re working with and are excited about the possibilities.

By 2001, theories of how education could be changed by tech had already been developed. However, it was in 2004 that the founder of the Khan Academy began recording educational videos intended for on-demand tutoring. This eventually developed into one of the most well known examples of a “flipped classroom” that focuses first on the learner, with the teacher a presence to help facilitate whenever and wherever the learner needs help or direction.

It’s a classroom model that might have great promise – if teachers are willing to get on board.