Teaching Business Education, Teaching With Technology
Q: We are a group of computer science students at Rice University who are
studying how future technology will change our society. Specifically,
we are interested in how technological changes in high schools may
affect students and teachers. We are looking for responses from high
school teachers that may help us refine our proposal and better
understand what teaching would be like in that environment.
We will make predictions for 5-10 years in the future on how
technology, especially the Internet, will affect high school
classrooms. After our proposal, we present you with some questions
regarding your own opinions as a high school teacher. Please be as open
and in-depth as possible--there are no wrong answers!! Specific
examples (anonymous of course) would be great. Our main focus will be
the relationships between teachers and students and among the students
themselves, and how those relationships may change in the future.
Please take just a few minutes to answer some of our questions. You
will be helping us a lot! Your experience is invaluable to us.
A:I am not a high school teacher, I am a community college instructor teaching several courses via distance learning. Even if I am not part of your sample set my input may help (hopefully). Income: Home based resources (computers) and their maintenance would be an issue. Difficult to believe that any school district could establish standards for such and make them mandatory. Only solution would be to provide them free of charge (eliminates the income gap), including maintenance. Social interaction may not be an issue as a computer with the same technology cannot discriminate amongst users. Social interaction would be more a factor of participation and user participation ethics/conduct. If technology at home was not consistent there could be a widening of the income gap as the have-not's fall behind. I don't think you can automatically assume that a family that has more money will automatically spend more for home based learning (ie, not all rich kids go to private school). The virtual classroom/college will never take away for the traditional classroom. It is an enhancement. Whatever provides the most useful education enabling someone to be employed at the level they desire is what is best. I personally doubt that a piece of paper from wherever it is issued will be the deciding factor in this regard. Columbia University probably graduates students who did not "learn" what is needed. Likewise some of the best employees, and smartest people, never went to college. I cannot agree more. This has been my experience in college physics: My students have had extensive exposure to computers through their entire school careers: a nineteen-year-old will have been born in 1982 and started school in 1988, when most suburban schools were installing computer systems at a frantic pace. Whatever computers did for their other skills, the kids are poor readers, poor at reasoning, and utterly unprepared for anything requiring mathematical rigor. It's not at all clear what computers did for them then, or what computers would do for them now. I'd hate to think that the future of education is reliant upon improved office machinery. I'd also like to ask the author of the above for permission to quote his work on my Web page, with full attribution, of course.
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