Monday, September 04, 2006

Spending less on technology; buying more books instead

Wes Fryer (Moving at the Speed of Creativity)  recently posted a podcast of Dr. Stephen Krashen
speaking at a conference in Oklahoma. As someone who works with technology in the classroom, it's easy to key in on one of Dr. Krashen's conclusions: that we should start spending less on technology and spend that money on books instead.  Given his data regarding the number of books per pupil in some school districts and the research on the effect of school libraries on student achievement, I would tend to agree with his conclusion. Under those circumstances, more books and more librarians are crucial.

We have no conclusive evidence that the use of computers has an effect on learning. But we do have research that clearly demonstrates that the most important factor in student achievement is the teacher. And, we do have research that shows us that particular instructional strategies have a positive effect on student learning.  When teachers begin to use those 21st century strategies effectively along with  21st century tools, maybe we'll see the evidence we're looking for.

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