Friday, March 26, 2010

Tech Education: Where's the Money?

If there is one thing that you can count on, it's that new technology costs money. Whether it's the new iPad (wonderful, but where's the FLASH!?) or a wireless anything, the issue for education is great, but about the cost...
Yes, schools at all levels and across the country are struggling to pay for instructors and programs, so tech funding often comes in as an also-ran in dwindling budgets. Instructors are told to 'use what you have'. Fortunately, there are many Websites and educational social networks that can come to the rescue.
Personally, I love the Internet. The new social network options for instruction are amazing. Obviously blogs and wikis and nings etc. can create new communities that focus in on the topics instructors want to share. Other sharing sites such as Google docs make communication across the district or across the world not only possible but easy. Sure, there are lessons to be taught to students regarding what they post and where they post. But these are the same concerns as schools have had to teach for years (as in Stranger Danger...)
But having the tools available is not the same as knowing they are available.
It's time for instructors to start using the share apps, both for classroom instruction and professional development. If everyone has to make do with limited funds, then share the tools that can make that happen. More importantly, bring the STUDENTS into the fold, and let them help design their own lessons. The end result is a win/win for everyone.

Here is a start...Classroom 2.0: