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Are Schools Investing in Education Technology Properly?


This week the Eanes School District is holding a conference called iPadpalooza.

Every child in the district has an iPad and schools want to find ways to use them better.

The conference comes as the Center for American Progressreleased a study that says states don’t know how much investments like these in education technology are actually helping students. 

The report finds a majority of schools across the country have computers and Internet access in the classroom. But most of the students are using these technologies for basic drills and practice, rather than advanced data analysis or statistics. 

“Were not arguing basic skills aren’t important. Students need to learn basic addition to have bigger conversations, more critical thinking skills around math. But the question is 'can we get a better bang for our buck? Are worksheets just as good a way to hone those basic skills?'" said Ulrich Boser, the study’s author.

Eanes ISD Superintendent Nola Wellman says teachers use a model calledSAMR to properly transition the technology into the classroom. Wellman says in the beginning teachers substitute the technology for traditional classwork. Then they augment, modify and redefine curriculum and teaching around the technology.

The CAP's report suggests Eanes’ approach is on target.

Its author proposes teachers get more tools to implement technology in the classroom – rather than just replacing traditional teaching methods with new technology.

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