Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind: An Advocate for Ed Tech

The US Department of Education recently released an evaluation of reading and math programs they refer to as "Educational Technology". The Ed Department referred to selecting "technology products" for the study, not to evaluating an approach to teaching with technology. The Department of Ed ended up evaluating the effectiveness of Waterford, Plato, Pearson, and the like. In the end (not surprisingly), they concluded that "On average, after one year, products did not increase or decrease test scores by amounts that were statistically different from zero." In other words, these sit and get programs had no effect.

Ron Kind, a Congressman from Wisconsin, published an opinion article today on businessweek.com that argues that the Ed Department does not understand what Ed Tech is and is using a flawed and contrived measure to try to cut the Enhancing Education Through Technology monies. In short, Representative Kind argues that there are many evaluations that already exists that show that students learn when technology is integrated appropriately and the Department of Ed is missing the point if they only look at technology to offer direct reading and math instruction to children.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Dave Tarwater said...

After witnessing the use of several "sit and get" applications I came to a similar conclusion years ago - simply sitting users in front of computers and hoping to get student academic growth is just not going to happen for the majority of students. Bottom line it is not good teaching practice. Engaging students with meaningful and challenging tasks using technology tools however can make a positive difference, I have witnessed that as well.