Sunday, March 28, 2010

It is obvious

How can we continue to integrate technology into education with the economic challenges that we are facing- because we have to. In a perfect world educators and students would not have to deal with this. We could teach, our students could learn and testing would be a mute point because of course our students would be learning everything they need to learn. The reality is that we need to pull up our boot straps and become more fiscally responsible and creative. With teachers and staff being let go due to lack of funds, schools under increased scrutiny to test students to prove that they are "learning" and an economy that has many in this country questioning spending anything extra on education - is technology in education a necessity and can the technology be integrated for less cost and as effectively?

The answer is "that depends". Many schools are set up very well to pull back financially in their expenditures because in less leaner times they invested in computers and other technology. Other schools that have had harder times or have not made the jump to the 21st century will find it difficult to find money in their budgets for technology. On a more positive note, technology costs have come down significantly in the past years. The technology resources that are available for free or for a small cost are out there if you are willing to search. Does it take some time to find these resources? Yes it does. Do I feel that this is part of my job? I do. Of course I would love to use the latest, greatest and easiest technology. It is however not prudent in these economic times. If in my own household and in the community, the state, and beyond we are being asked to budget better, it is fair that we in our schools have to do the same.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Where do we go from here?

Gloom and doom! Entire staff are being fired from schools. Layoffs of teachers and support staff for economic reasons in the United States are being realized every day. The economic divide is increasing with more children living in poverty than ever before which effects their learning and their future. Throwing money at schools is not the answer and neither is major education reform. We have to think about education in a more broad way. Education is a part of our society and culture. There has got to be a bright side to all of the negatives.
I would like to see real critical thinking about how to change fundamentally our society. It is true that the powers that be (government but also school administration and boards) affect positively or negatively the lives of our children. Ultimately our society needs to decide how we can do right by all members of this country, rich and poor and those in between.
It should not be ok that people that want to work cannot find a job, families are homeless, without health care and cannot take care of their kids. Once these things in society are addressed than education reform can move forward and the youth in this country will be better off. Our society will be better for it as well.
The question remains, where do we go from here? Will society become more divided testing our humanity or will it pull together for the common good of all? I wish I had the answers but I do remain hopeful.