The project-based approach, some educators say, encourages active learning and produces better performance in class and on standardized tests.
The educational bottom line, it seems, is that while computer technology has matured and become more affordable, the most significant development has been a deeper understanding of how to use the technology.
“Unless you change how you teach and how kids work, new technology is not really going to make a difference,” said Bob Pearlman, a former teacher who is the director of strategic planning for the New Technology Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
The foundation, based in Napa, Calif., has developed a model for project-based teaching and is at the forefront of the drive for technology-enabled reform of education. Forty-two schools in nine states are trying the foundation’s model, and their numbers are growing rapidly.
Behind the efforts, of course, are concerns that K-12 public schools are falling short in preparing students for the twin challenges of globalization and technological change. Worries about the nation’s future competitiveness led to the creation in 2002 of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a coalition whose members include the Department of Education and technology companies like Apple, Cisco Systems, Dell and Microsoft.
The government-industry partnership identifies a set of skills that mirror those that the New Technology Foundation model is meant to nurture. Those skills include collaboration, systems thinking, self-direction and communication, both online and in person.
State officials in Indiana took a look at the foundation’s model and offered travel grants for local teachers and administrators to visit its schools in California. Sally Nichols, an English teacher, came away impressed and signed up for the new project-based teaching program at her school, Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis.
Last year, Ms. Nichols and another teacher taught a biology and literature class for freshmen. (Cross-disciplinary courses are common in the New Technology model.) Typically, half of freshmen fail biology, but under the project-based model the failure rate was cut in half.
“There’s a lot of ownership by the kids in their work instead of teachers lecturing and being the givers of all knowledge,” Ms. Nichols explained. “The classes are just much more alive. They don’t sleep in class.”
IN Indiana, the number of schools using the foundation model will increase to six this year, and an additional dozen communities have signed up for the next year, said David Shane, a member of the state board of education. “It’s caught fire in Indiana, and we’ve got to have this kind of education to prepare our young people for the future in a global economy that is immersed in technology.”
The extra cost for schools that have adopted the New Technology model is about $1,000 per student a year, once a school is set up, says Mr. Pearlman of the foundation. After the first three years, the extra cost should decline considerably, he said.
In England, where the government has promoted technology in schools for a decade, the experiment with technology-driven change in education is further along.
Five years ago, the government gave computers to students at two schools in high-crime neighborhoods in Birmingham. For the students, a Web-based portal is the virtual doorway for assignments, school social activities, online mentoring, discussion groups and e-mail. Even students who are suspended from school for a few days beg not to lose their access to the portal, says Sir Mark Grundy, 49, the executive principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy and the George Salter Collegiate Academy. Today, the schools are among the top in the nation in yearly improvements in students’ performance in reading and math tests.
Sir Mark says he is convinced that advances in computing, combined with improved understanding of how to tailor the technology to different students, can help transform education.
“This is the best Trojan horse for causing change in schools that I have ever seen,” he said.Continue reading the main story
Ways Technology has Changed Sports Essay
1316 Words6 Pages
Today’s Technology extends over a lot of different components that we are exposed to daily. There are three areas that I will discuss and go into detail on just how much Technology has affected Sports, beginning in the 1800’s. These improvements are more beneficial than just for the fan experience. The areas that I will speak of will point out just how much Technology has brought significant improvements and benefits for the coaches, athletes, referees, fans and venues. First, technology has helped coaches and players in areas of education, enhancements and quick recovery for athlete injuries. The coaches have upgraded from using white chalkboards to tablets in the locker room increasing the ability to demonstrate and show…show more content…
Today’s Technology extends over a lot of different components that we are exposed to daily. There are three areas that I will discuss and go into detail on just how much Technology has affected Sports, beginning in the 1800’s. These improvements are more beneficial than just for the fan experience. The areas that I will speak of will point out just how much Technology has brought significant improvements and benefits for the coaches, athletes, referees, fans and venues. First, technology has helped coaches and players in areas of education, enhancements and quick recovery for athlete injuries. The coaches have upgraded from using white chalkboards to tablets in the locker room increasing the ability to demonstrate and show play by play details of different situations. Coaches have the ability to do side-by-comparisons on athletes that assist with coaching. The high definition digital equipment allows the coaches to get a better view and identify the mistakes with the frame-by-frame option. Athletes are taking advantage of the new technology as well. The new Nike Strobe eyewear is helping athletes get a competitive edge. The Nike Strobe is an integrated method that allows the athlete to improve their sensory skills and the ability to see better. (Newcomb, 2012) The athlete who succumbs to injuries can allow Doctors to use this new technology in Invasive Surgery. The injuries that use to require athletes to have a long recovery are now allowing athletes to