The Kids Chat was a real-time, on-line discussion with Linda Roberts, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education, and students from around the world to discuss issues important to students and the future of technology in education. The Kids Chat, hosted by K12nation.net, was a two-hour event held on June 13, 2000. The following is the transcript from the discussion.
K12nation.net: Welcome to K12nation.net’s Chat with the Department of Education!
K12nation.net: Hello everyone!
K12nation.net: We are very happy to have with us this morning, Dr. Linda Roberts from the US Department of Education!
Dr. Linda Roberts: Good Morning Everyone. Thank you for joining this discussion on the future of technology in education.
K12nation.net: To begin, Dr. Roberts will answer a few questions, she will then pose some questions of her own!
K12nation.net: Here we go……
K12nation.net: fmcginn asks: How do you feel that the global nature of the Internet affects the traditional classroom environment?
Dr. Linda Roberts: The Internet connects students to the world and makes it possible to work together on many interesting projects. For example kids in Alaska work with kids in Australia to think how to keep their environment sustainable.
K12nation.net: Sujay says: I am an editor for an on-line literary magazine in NJ. I have been actively involved in technology. I believe that our magazine works well because it shows students how to use technology on a very personal level.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Sujay do you see more students getting involved because they have a larger audience for their work?
K12nation.net: Jason asks: Dr. Roberts: I am a student at Stanford University writing a research paper on the use of technology in education – its benefits and problems. I am mainly looking for quantified data and research; any tips, suggestions, or pointers to sources would be wonderful.
Dr. Linda Roberts: There are many reports and studies. I would suggest you start by going to www.ed.gov/Technology.
K12nation.net: Dr. Roberts, the floor is yours to ask questions.
Dr. Linda Roberts: To the students who are participating from their classrooms, what do you see as the most important reasons for having access to computers and the Internet?
K12nation.net: Sujay responded: Yes, I have witnessed a tremendous growth in the amount of student editors. I feel that this is partly due to the greater audience, but also because students find an intellectual solace when they are able to freely create and observe innovation.
K12nation.net: Dheera says: Having access to computers and the Internet provides us with a gateway to access almost all the publicly available information in the world. It is also essential for keeping up with the latest in events and technology.
K12nation.net: Cathy says: They’re fun and more interesting than just taking tests after we study.
K12nation.net: Starburst says: I think schools should have classes on how to find your way around the Internet. A lot of my friends have no idea how to do anything.
K12nation.net: mck259 says: To be able to have the world at your Fingertips.
K12nation.net: Sujay says: I feel that the most important reason for having computers and the Internet is technologies ability to shatter time and space barriers. Technology access allows students to experiment and introduces technological “play,” which leads to a greater intellectual curiosity.
K12nation.net: Starburst says: I like the Internet because you can study what you like outside of a classroom.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Thanks for your compelling responses…it is clear that for students who have the skills and expertise in using these new resources, the power to learn and advance their skills is limitless. But for others who are novices or who have limited or no access, they need help. As a former teacher, I would want to make sure that the “help” and instruction that students get, pulls them into this vast new resource.
K12nation.net: Good news everyone! Dr. Roberts would like to open up the chat room so everyone can speak in real-time. We’ll begin the open chat in 30 minutes.
K12nation.net: Sujay says: Students, in this era, are adept in using new devices. Whether they are TV’s, game consoles, or computers. Students find joy in the adventure of learning!
Dr. Linda Roberts: What are the technology skills you will need to have in the future? How well are your schools and teachers equipped to prepare you for the future?
K12nation.net: Dheera says: Using Bryce 4 is a fun, new and exciting way to learn and take advantage of the new technology that HCRHS has to offer.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Sujay, if students are naturally tuned into the technology, it sounds like teachers can build on this and focus them on content.
K12nation.net: Sorry, the previous comment was rsands18’s!
K12nation.net: Cathy says: Everyone is going to need computers. I wish we could use technology in all our classes, but some teachers only use them for word processing.
K12nation.net: SLH says: Many schools are far behind in technology partly because there are so few people who know how to maintain equipment.
K12nation.net: Feather says: Students should know how to search and locate useful information that they need to answer life’s questions. The main problems at our school appear to be the lack of knowledge on the part of the teachers, the application of computer technology to their areas of learning, and the lack of equipment for all classrooms.
K12nation.net: mck259 says: You will need to know how to program, use and design software, and browse the Internet.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Cathy, if the use in your school is limited, what do you think about students mentoring teachers and helping them become more comfortable with more advanced applications?
K12nation.net: Chimerical says: you will need some skills with certain software items (i.e. Power Point, Word) they are used in every field, and knowing how to use them would be a definite plus. And the Teachers don’t know anything (except for a few). They mostly relay on students helping other students.
K12nation.net: mck259 says: Computer labs are very important in teaching computer software and research.
K12nation.net: SLH says: If schools have laboratories to use, there are seldom lab support staff members to help teachers. That is the equivalent of setting up a school library and then providing no librarian.
K12nation.net: rsands18 says: I feel exactly the same way. It is not just the part of the school to provide us with new and better equipment for kids to learn but also to provide us with teachers such as Ms. McGinn from HCRHS who know how to use and teach this new technology so we can explore a new way of learning information.
K12nation.net: Cathy says: It’s great when students and teachers work together. At our school . . . when it’s used . . . we call it Empowered Student Teacher Teams. We get to really decide things about our learning, too!
K12nation.net: Dheera says: It can also be useful to have computers in every classroom. It allows teachers and students to have easy access to outside information without the need to go to a library or lab.
K12nation.net: mck259 says: Our school has a tech. teacher in the Lab.
K12nation.net: chi says: every school should have a teaching position for technology.
K12nation.net: Sujay says: Yes, the empowered student has the interest to learn independently, but recognizes that creative collaboration is essential for a great product.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Chimerical, in many “real world” settings, I see people helping each other all the time; teamwork is the norm in business. But clearly this is a time of transition for teachers and for students…and we have seen programs where “expert” teachers and expert students, and community volunteers are all part of the effort to bring new expertise to schools. Some people say that it’s only a matter of time, before technology tools are seamless.
K12nation.net: fmcginn says: I think the great thing about technology is that it lets teachers address the different learning styles of kids. In essence, it permits individualization.
K12nation.net: rsands18 says: If teachers and students work together it is a new way of making the student feel like they are in charge of his or her own learning. It builds a relationship between the student and the teacher. It is not just teacher and student anymore. They both become students of technology together as they go through new ways of exploring the technology that the schools have supplied them with.
K12nation.net: Sujay says: In relation to software and hardware skills, I feel that students must be exposed to what is available at the school. A school does not need to have the best computers or the best software. By working with what you have in school, students can acquire the skills necessary to modify and invent.
K12nation.net: Abel says: Hello I am connecting from Ireland where the government has a national program to promote ICT in schools.
K12nation.net: BSTAUDLE says: The more that kids learn from their teachers and classmates in school about technology, the better off they’re going to be in the real world.
K12nation.net: sdhays says: My school is building a brand new computer lab this summer, but we have no plans to provide a lab assistant for it. Therefore, only the handful of teachers that are already comfortable using technology will use it. If we had an assistant, I think that other teachers with less experience would get to use the lab and reap its benefits.
K12nation.net: Abel says: however they have identified a serious fall in interest among students in general science. ICT is very popular but not general science. The challenge might be to combine the interest in ICT to excite students about general science.
K12nation.net: SLH says: Modifying and inventing sounds good, but many times schools are working with such old equipment that more time is spent repairing than learning/teaching.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Abel: Welcome Ireland. The Secretary of Education, Richard Riley has just returned from meetings with education leaders in Belfast and in Dublin. I spent time meeting with education leaders and industry folks last May as well. So many countries are embarking on educational technology initiatives and this is very exciting because we can learn from each other.
K12nation.net: mck259 says: In our tech. class we did simulations of a bank, we use PowerPoint, and we also used the Stock Market Game.
K12nation.net: rsands18 says: If a school provides you with the technology then they also should provide you with a teacher who knows the technology. I have been in situations where I have the technology to do something and I have no one who knows how to teach it to me. I had to try and learn it on my own.
K12nation.net: Dheera says: Efficiency is probably a key thing when it comes to upgrading computers. When new computers are to be installed, it may be best to first think of the most efficient way the upgrade can be done (i.e. through network drives, server locations…)
K12nation.net: BSTAUBLE says: In our Emerging technology class we use Bryce 4 and Adobe Photoshop.
K12nation.net: fmcginn says: A methodology where kids can learn together, explore the technology that is so new to your teachers, needs to be put into place.
K12nation.net: Dheera says: Students can also be a big help when teachers are not available. If a teacher advisor is not able to provide a solution, often students can help each other accomplish the task.
Dr. Linda Roberts: All of your comments help us understand what’s happening in classrooms around the country. Tell us more …what are some of the most exciting ways that computers, the Internet, are helping to bring the study of history, or science, or math, or literature, or the arts, or any specific topic alive.
BSTAUDLE: I believe that art galleries are a great way to express your artwork in the classroom and even on the net.
Sujay: Literature and the arts are becoming more digital-based. Students utilize Power Point to develop CyberLit, writing accompanied with sounds, original art, and music!
BSTAUDLE: you use the art gallery in PowerPoint by making Digital Art pictures and displaying them on the Internet.
fmcginn: We can connect our New Jersey classroom to a professional poet . . . in Beijing or California!
Chimerical: As for the Math Part, I go online to seek math help at times. As For science, a few buddies and I made a Chemistry Online website so students would contact each other and teachers to get help in off school hours and it would keep them updated on incoming assignments and tests.
Dheera: Any of those topics can be researched in great detail on the Internet, to a much greater extent than any textbook can provide. Students can find more and more information, to as much as they desire – providing a vast system of resources that anyone can access, extremely fast.
K12nation.net: mck259 says: I think that every school should have some way to connect to the Internet
rsands18: With the help of computers we are able to make new ways to learn the material we are suppose to learn. We use things such as cyberlits, digital art galleries, papers on subjects such as today’s technology and where it is going.
Dr. Linda Roberts: We sometime hear that technology makes little difference in student performance and achievement. Do you feel that technology has helped you excel in certain subjects? Has it helped you improve your performance overall?
mck259: I think that every school should have some way to connect to the Internet.
sdhays: One the most exciting things I use the Internet for is getting up-to-date news across the world. I did a thesis paper last year on China and I was able to use newspapers from Hong Kong as research. It would have been impossible to get such new information from those sources using conventional methods.
Sujay: I have learned about Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. I realize that all students think DIFFERENTLY. I know that I am more linguistic than spatial and I learn to evolve my linguistic skills and receive student-supported facilitation to develop my spatial and abstract reasoning.
Dheera: Technology has helped me complete my assignments in much less time, with the same quality. Searching the Internet gives us much more information, yet in a fraction of the time it takes to search through a standard library.
SLH: WebQuests connecting a set of useful sites to support the study of a particular topic can be a super timesaver for teachers and students.
Dheera: I do believe that everyone thinks differently, and technology well-accommodates that difference in people. There are just so many things that can be done with computers, in different ways.
Kim: We use computers for almost every class, whether it is for typing papers or doing interactive labs and experiments in science.
Abel: In Ireland ALL schools have at least a dialup connection to the Internet but a lot of work still needs to be done to produce teaching support material that can be integrated with class room studies.
Sujay: By interning at a major computer company, Sun Microsystems, I learned that many types of individuals approach technology. I interacted with adults who studied Biology alongside Computer Science. I also teamed up with English majors, interested in Computer Programming.
Julie: I think that students use technology in the classroom on a daily basis; at least I know I do! Computers have become such an integrated part of teaching. I think that using computers and other multimedia applications will help to integrate Gardner’s theories.
Randy61: I think Virtual Reality should be used in future classrooms
K12nation.net: Chaos said: Technology is what has enable the GLOBE Program students to work directly with scientists and students of all ages from over 85 different countries. This type of communication is what all schools should have and USE on a regular basis.
mck259: I think so too.
Kim: I can’t imagine doing papers and research without using the computer for the information on the Internet. I can’t even remember the last time I only used books in order to write a paper.
Erin: Technology has become a very important part of everyday life at HCRHS. The class that I would ordinarily be in right now is Honors Expos, and each student has a computer at which they work on essays in Microsoft Word and research over the Internet. E-mail allows us to talk with teachers over any questions we have about an assignment at any point during the day.
Dheera: Virtual reality can take some skill to produce, but the rewards pay it off. Any form of 3-D is very effective in providing a realistic image of what is actually there.
BSTAUDLE: Virtual reality is our future
Randy61: Perhaps that technology would be too expensive, but who is to decide how much money education is worth
Kim: I can’t wait for virtual reality.
mck259: The President
Randy61: Me neither!
Sujay: Jungian philosophy states, “We learn to develop our own skills with spiritual and educational guides.” This is not accidental, but our innate ability to harness our skills at technology while keeping an intimate connection with our peers and teachers.
Dheera: It’s already here, but not yet fully utilized. Most browsers come with capabilities for VR-enhanced Internet pages.
Abel: GLOBE is a good program. Has anybody used the Internet to access or remotely control telescopes of satellite imaging systems. Space and space technologies are useful ways of exciting interest in technology and science
Randy61: That is a good point Sujay
Chaos: It may sound like sci-fi but holographic projections are a reality and holographic computer displays are being worked on at MIT. Holodeck anyone? ;o)
BSTAUDLE: The name of the game is technology LEARNING IS PLAY
Randy61: What BRAD???
mck259: I controlled telescopes from the Internet.
Dr. Linda Roberts: Welcome GLOBE classrooms! It’s great to hear how science, the world, and technology come together. Tell us more about your experiences.
Kim: Is it for a science class?
Dheera: Yes, I find that very fun. I use the Internet to connect to laboratories and queue in my requests for space pictures. They take about 2 weeks due to the high demand, but I think it’s coming along.
Abel: Where was the telescope located and was it used by junior or senior grades
Sujay: Thanks! I realize that learning is not something that only happens within the classroom walls. We learn when we recognize the subtle connectivity of nature and we continue to learn how our impact, ecological and technological, is connected to the GLOBE, as a whole.
rsands18: Education is everything. You can’t put a price on education. How would you make it in the real world without a good education? It is impossible. The goal of school is to get a good education using the tools of today to get the jobs of tomorrow.
Randy61: Other classes in the future should have linked classes over the Internet. For example, a class in the US should be online with a class in Germany…
Dheera: They are professional laboratories. I believe one is the Bradford Telescope, I don’t remember the others, one moment.
Dheera: Iowa Robotic Telescope: http://denali.physics.uiowa.edu/
Randy61: Much could be gained from other countries
BSTAUDLE: Kim I believe that our trip to Wall Street yesterday opened a lot of people’s minds, especially mine
Julie: I think that would really help people to get over their apprehension about different cultures.
Abel: If you are interested in space picture in less than two weeks check out http://www.sarepta.org This is a Norwegian schools project
Randy61: I wish I could have gone on that trip Brad. It sounded great!
SLH: Is it expensive to be involved in GLOBE?
mck259: thanks for the information.
Arquay: the telescope link didn’t work
Dheera: It has a quotation mark at the end because of the chat system…
Dheera: Try this – http://denali.physics.uiowa.edu/ .
mck259: why didn’t it work
Sujay: We are breaking another barrier, as we type. The barrier of international connectivity. Impossible years ago, this milestone illustrates our keen ability to create new patterns to follow. We are the leaders of tomorrow, learning about the nature of today’s technological impact!
Randy61: That is so true Sujay.
Dheera: The Bradford telescope is here: http://www.telescope.org/rti/.
Arquay: Yup, that one is a keeper.
Arquay: It didn’t work b/c he put quotes at the end.
BSTAUDLE: Dheera is a computer expert and he has told me that the more you learn about the computer the more find out about yourself.
Chaos: The GLOBE program is not expensive for schools. Depending on where they are located the training for teachers doesn’t cost much at all. The lab equipment you need is around $0 for elementary and around $6 for Secondary to get started. The good news is that most schools already own much of what they need to run GLOBE. (www.globe.gov)
Dheera: And I believe there is another one located here: http://www.deepspace.ucsb.edu/ . That’s all I know of right now, but I am sure there are more out there…
Abel: It is certainly great to be able to do this. Should there be International chat forums for schools. What about the language barrier. Roll on automatic translation1
rsands18: Randy what are your thoughts on the technology of today being implemented into the schools of tomorrow to create a better learning experience for both the teacher and the student?
Julie: For some schools, $0-6 is expensive
sdhays: My mother is a GED teacher who teaches students. She uses the Internet all the time which helps bring her students information from across the spectrum. From leeches and maggots to Caesar and Shakespeare, she can bring them a world of which they have never even heard.
Erin: I just logged on, so fill me in: Is there anyone from another country that can give us a more global perspective on the technology issue?
Randy61: As I decreed before, rsand18, I feel that technology is the key to future education.
Dheera: Systran has made translators for English-:Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German. It is the system used by AltaVista on their free translator on the web.
Sujay: Yes BSTAUDLE, as we grow closer to the ‘virtual’ walls of technology we enter into the domain of inward learning. Our engraved archetypes and metaphors make it possible for us to relate to others, while finding spiritual connectivity with our technological crafts.
Kim: Do you think that there may be problems in the future due to hackers that are able to get into certain sites on the Internet and shut everything down since basically our whole world will someday be run by computers?
Dr. Linda Roberts: We’ve talked about school, what about using technology for learning after school hours? Do you have access to computers at home or in your community?
K12nation.net: Abel is from Ireland!
BSTAUDLE: The issue of technology is opening up a brand new field for up and coming business men and women of our time.
Abel: Erin, I am connected from Ireland. We have national program for ICT in schools but need something similar for general science and technology
Randy61: That is a major concern Kim. I also fear that.
Arquay: What does ICT stand for?
Kim: I use the computer, especially the Internet for all kinds of information at home. Like directions, college searching, emailing, and buying tickets.
BSTAUDLE: The next generation is now and I believe that we MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT NOWWW!
Chaos: More people in this area have computers at home than at school. Most of what the kids really learn via the web is done at home.
Dheera: We use computers all the time after school here, for our projects. Almost everyone else I know has Internet access at home.
mck259: I don’t know
Randy61: I do not have a computer at home!
Abel: ICT is Information and Communications Technology – Computers and Communications
SLH: We have access in our community to a community lab that is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. most nights of the week. Students can go using their school ID. Community members pay a small fee.
BSTAUDLE: Like Kim, I use the computer for interesting things as well.
Julie: What are we going to do about the people whose schools cannot afford the same technology as everyone else and cannot access it at home? As technology moves forward, they are being left behind.
Randy61: RSand18, do you feel that virtual reality can help students in the future?
Brent: There is so much technology available to us now that students that don’t even have computers are still finding ways to interact with technology because of how integrated it is into our society.
Erin: Abel: My family and I just visited Ireland last summer to visit relatives, but we obviously did not have much experience with technology while over there. It is a beautiful country, though.
Sujay: I have access to computers at home, but only recently did I receive INTERNET access. Certainly, more doors are open to you when you have computers at home. However, these doors are not closed to those who do not have computers at home. Computers are as VITAL as BOOKS and their organic ability to filter our imagination proves true in many cases.
mck259: Leave it up to the district.
Arquay: That’s a good question Julie, I was just going to ask that
Abel: Julie you have made a very good point. Will educational inequality increase if we apply too much technology
rsands18: An interesting theory Kim. I agree with you completely. There is a good chance that might happen. With the advance of technology there is always a loop whole that you can get through. We should discuss it further since it is an interesting topic to me.
Kim: I think that sometimes teachers assume that everyone has computers, and sometimes those kids are put at a disadvantage. They have to come in after school and miss out on activities sometimes because they can’t get on it any other time.
Randy61: That is a good point Brent.
Dheera: I believe that as technology moves forward, computer prices will fall, and most people will be able some type of computer. They will become cheaper just as other devices have over time, such as radios or TV’s.
BSTAUDLE: Absorbing the digital world is not enough we must take that information and bring it to a higher level
Chaos: Indeed Julie, what ARE we going to do. The gap continues to widen. Should we let the Federal Govt. put computers in all schools with little cost to the states or local communities? What are the implications if we do?
Dr. Linda Roberts: Randy: since you don’t have a computer at home, are there ways for you to continue your school work after hours. Does your school provide after hour access? What about your public library or community center?
Kim: Not every one has money for food, let alone a computer.
Randy61: What is the higher level, Brad?
Brent: Technology is a realm that extends far beyond that of the personal computer. Almost everyday thing we do is an interaction with technology.
Brent: Calling on a cellular phone, driving our car or turning on a home security system.
mck259: That’s true.
Randy61: Dr. Roberts, our school has many opportunities for me to use the computer. I try to take advantage of our facilities.
mck259: Some people can afford both and some cant afford both.
BSTAUDLE: The higher level is the zenith of the digital culture.
SLH: GED students are some of the prime people to reach with technology. As was mentioned before, some students have not been captured by the typical classroom.
Randy61: I see. Thank you, BSTAUDLE!
Sujay: Negroponte states, ‘We are in the technological revolution!’ As technology moves towards more computer-less devices, our accessibility will continue to get larger!
rsands18: That is why everyone cannot enter the digital age so soon. Technology becomes cheaper and cheaper as time goes on. Not everyone had a T.V. in there house at one time and now we are completely connected to the whole world through cable.
SLH: I’d like to know more about what schools have done to help at risk students.
Julie: I think it is important to move forward with technology, but we must not leave people behind. I think it is partly the responsibility of the government to bridge the gaps.
Julie: What kind of at-risk students?
BSTAUDLE: I wonder how LROBERTS uses the computer in this digital age we are living in.
Randy61: As technology becomes cheaper, the technology gets better as well…causing us to spend more money on good equipment.
Sujay: Already, universities and colleges around the world have developed ‘wearable’ computers and INTERNET portal devices. This new innovations will allow all people to have access to the world wide network.
Arquay: rsands18:that is true what you said about televisions, the difference, at this point, some students are reaping the benefits of having computers at home while other, less affluent students, don’t have the same opportunities
SLH: At risk students like — teen parents. Many could benefit from being able to take online courses.
Kim: I think that is a great idea. But are those courses offered anymore that often?
rsands18: An interesting quote Randy61 but isn’t the technology moving so fast that even the some of the best equipment is already very inexpensive to buy.
SLH: In our community, we have a high drop out rate. It would be a good idea for people to be able to take an online course to complete graduation requirements.
Abel: I would like to invite all the students participating to look at what students in Ireland have done on the Internet. Check out http://www.scoilnet.ie Scoil is the Gaelic for school!
Dheera: Yes, and online courses can also be useful for those seeking courses that their school does not provide.
Dr. Linda Roberts: We heard earlier from Florence McGinn’s students that she is an excellent teacher. What are the qualities of the teachers who have empowered you with technology AND have challenged you to excel in the classroom?
Sujay: I have taken an on-line course with WILKES UNIVERSITY. My course was on Cultural Anthropology. By taking the course, I learned about the college environment from my HIGH SCHOOL classroom. The course gave me a glimpse into college life!
Brent: Ms. Roberts, with technology moving at the pace it is today, do you think there is a concern that the students of the futures technology knowledge will surpass that of the teachers of today?
Randy61: True, Rsand, but the BEST stuff is always more expensive. Computers are a great example.
BSTAUDLE: The computer can be very educational as well. Teenagers can find out information for health class and or History club.
Kim: But if they are dropping out, do they really want to do all that work in order to graduate. They already made the decision not to.
SLH: Our local junior college already offers several online courses. I’d like to see it working hand-in-hand with our high school. Perhaps dual credit is possible.
Sujay: Teachers should develop a sense of intellectual theory in their students. The creative process, when analyzed, shows students and teachers how to gear into a specific talent a student possesses!
fmcginn: Powerful teachers know that “To teach is to learn” is true, and they are willing to learn every day with their students. They mentor in academic areas as well as in the learning process to build innovation and creativity that EMPLOYS learning.
Dheera: What about the issue of reliability…many of the teachers I have had want me to use book resources to verify the accuracy of Internet resources. However, I find that for most purposes, the Internet is quite accurate – there is generally no reason why anyone would wish to post false information about, for example, history.
Dr. Linda Roberts: I want you all to know that it’s the real me (Linda Roberts) on-line with you today and this is how I use technology all the time. It has been amazing to be able to follow up visits to schools around the country and then continue the conversation with students, teachers, and school administrators, and in some cases, even parents.
BSTAUDLE: TEACHERS MUST MAKE STUDENTS BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR INNOVATIVE MINDS.
Randy61: History Clubs benefit greatly form technology, BSTAUDLE.
Sujay: Mrs. McGinn, a terrific mentor, has shown me that I learn at all times of the day. When I incubate ideas for poetry, I am thinking on various MULTI-SENSORY levels. I have learned to develop these techniques to aide me in all subjects.
rsands18: It is not necessary to do all that work if they have made their decision already. But working with the technology of today to do your school work has made the work so easy, and fun that if kids decide to drop out they are not only giving up on learning but also giving up on technology itself.
fmcginn: The Internet allows teachers to guide students in truly thinking about knowledge. The information there is not filtered. The intellect of the user must provide the filter as well as the employment of that knowledge as a genuine vehicle of understanding.
Kim: I have had times when doing a research project that I find two sites that have exactly the opposite information. It’s a pain, because then you don’t know what to believe.
BSTAUDLE: MRS MCGINN IS A GREAT MENTOR LIKE SUJAY SO WISELY EXCLAIMED.
Randy61: That is a most excellent point, RSAND.
Abel: Dheera makes a good point. It is most important to use the Internet with a critically trained mind. Teachers are not redundant yet!
Dheera: English classes also greatly benefit from technology, that is exactly what has happened here. Mrs. McGinn has done a great job integrating words with technology.
Julie: One of the reasons teachers say that it is important to use books as well is because books are edited by actual people who have background in the subject. Online there is no real way to know whether a person is qualified to be writing about the subject.
Randy61: Kim had lots of great ideas!
Sujay: A mentor, in the shape of a teacher, parent, sibling, or nature, itself teaches us only when we are willing to learn. The concepts of compassion and love of our art, math or English, has implemented our understanding that all people are teachers and all people are learners!
BSTAUDLE: CHRIS GEORGE HAS LOGGED ON HURRAY
Arquay: Why are so many people leaving?
Erin: They had to go to lunch.
Randy61: BSTAUDLE, do you feel that all this technology will cause an exponential decay of need for manual labor?
sdhays: I think that the greatest problem that schools must overcome and not teach to students is fear. The most technology oriented and dynamic teacher I had isn’t a computer teacher, but she has gotten countless students, including myself, involved with ThinkQuest. She doesn’t fear the unknown as the Internet was years ago, and we need teachers to not be afraid and to show students how to embrace new things.
BSTAUDLE: THE WAY TECHNOLOGY HAS GROWN INTO OUR HOMES IS EXTRODINARY STILL WE MUST TAKE THAT TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND BRING IT INTO PEOPLE’S HOMES WHO DON’T KNOW A LOT ABOUT IT.
Sujay: Julie, the Internet has many incredible sources but it also has many more well-documented sources. Teachers and students learn to filter out the sands of information and chose the grains that apply to them. Mentors TEACH this process, when they show students sources that they use personally!
Brent: Randy61, could you go more in depth on the specifics of an exponential decay?
Sujay: I feel that learning about what kinds of sources are available to students is very important. Teachers can facilitate their students as they show their classes credible and important sources.
Dr. Linda Roberts: As a recent NPR new story on the “digital divide” between the young and old showed…..kids have a natural affinity for technology but it is their teachers and parents who are their guides and mentors. The NPR interviews with students at Champlain Valley High School in Vermont made clear that technology will never make teachers redundant; teachers become facilitators and coaches who bring out the best of students.
Chris: Good teachers use technology in a way that allows students to learn together and share new methods.
Arquay: Why would technology cause exponential decay? Technology, in many cases, enhances manual labor, not replaces it.
Julie: There are still many instances where students can get unreliable source information. It is important that teachers enable their students to learn how to filter the information. This should be an important part of being a teacher in the technological field
Randy61: Being a good teacher with new technology means being able to instruct students who are computer illiterate to get them to “read” a computer like it is a CURIOUS GEORGE book.
sdhays: Ms. Roberts, you have good taste in news.
Brent: I feel that a successful technology teacher should not only have a superb understanding of the technology available today, but they should have enough experience to be able to change just as technology changes around us each day. A good teacher has to be willing to grow with technology and understand the new technology moving in.
Sujay: Students learn early on that teachers nurture creative thought. Teachers I have worked with can develop this creative thought with or without technology. BUT, by using technology teachers help us learn about methodologies that can only exist in black and white in textbooks! The educational experience become three dimensional!
Erin: I agree with Randy. Technology in classrooms is useless unless the teacher has sufficient knowledge and is able to instruct the students on how to utilize it.
Arquay: I agree as well 🙂
Randy61: I feel that a major thing holding technology back is the fear that we have that computers will take over our lives.
Chris: Brent makes a good point; teachers really need to understand the technology and must be able to teach it well, otherwise, much time can be wasted on learning how to use the technology instead of learning course material.
Abel: Dr Roberts are older learners disenfranchised when too much high technology is applied to teaching?
SLH: Dr. Roberts, is there a way that the government can collect and post outstanding technology curriculum? For example, at Galesburg High School, we have an outstanding art instructor. He has graphic arts course projects that would benefit many others.
Julie: It is so important that teachers make issues alive to their students so that the material has some meaning. I agree that technology can have a big hand in this.
Randy61: Thank you Erin.
Brent: A teachers should always be changing just like technology. What worked with one might not work for another. The ability to innovate is what makes technology so wonderful and that’s how teaching technology should be as well.
Sujay: I feel that a teacher does not need to know all the specifics about a specific technology. Their ability to speak the essential vocabulary and provide support is far more important. Teachers, then become the facilitators instead of the software instructors. Only then, can students learn to EXPERIMENT and delve into unknown processes of our minds!
Chris: Exactly. Teachers, like tech. must be able to change their methods and tools in order to facilitate for students.
sdhays: I agree, Sujay.
Randy61: There is no way to set a norm for teaching. As with fashion trends, there are always new teaching trends as well. I feel that what ever works should be used until a change is necessary.
Dr. Linda Roberts: SLH, take a look at the Federal Resources for Excellence in Education (www.ed.gov/free)…we have pooled resources for teachers, kids, parents from federal agencies, and have had teachers share their lesson plans and curriculum ideas in using these resources.
Sujay: Another important factor is that teachers should NOT worry if they do not have all the technological skills that their students possess. Students find it far more rewarding to have a teacher who can help solve multi-level problems rather than just troubleshoot technology.
Julie: I think that is an excellent idea. Learning about things that are being done in classrooms worldwide will bring students closer together and perhaps aid in our better understanding of the world around us.
Chris: Good point Sujay; teachers can use tech. to learn from their students. It’s all a big circle.
Sujay: Technology, again is a vehicle that introduces, expands, and nurtures thought. Mentors are the gardeners who cultivate the flora of curiosity. They use computers as tools, and their own educational intuition as flexible roadmaps to new uncharted territory.
Julie: When teachers and students work and learn together it is often more effective than when the teacher lectures
cocoa: I agree w/u, Julie.
Brent: A good teacher should be able to solve the technological that come with technology. The basis for having technological skills like that is because learning comes in different forms. Not all experiences will be creative. Some will come from that error message that loads when Windows starts up. Being able to solve those problems is a skill that also comes with technology.
Randy61: For families that can’t afford a student exchange program, the Internet can bring them to another country, where they can taste the zests of other cultures.
cocoa: Technology is very important to me as a student….if a college-university didn’t have a decent web site…I wouldn’t even keep looking…
cocoa: And if a school didn’t.
Dr. Linda Roberts: We’ve focused on all the positives so far…are there concerns about irresponsible and potentially harmful uses of technology?
Chris: Troubleshooting, even with errors, really is an effective way to learn new thought processes.
Sujay: The circle of educational connectivity is a great metaphor for technology. The Internet is in itself a WEB of knowledge. We must approach this web with dynamic thinking. Linear methods of the past will only get us caught in the WEB of information!
cocoa: I have no concerns about harmful uses of technology.
Randy61: Pornography is a major irresponsible use of technology. It should be eliminated.
cocoa: I wouldn’t expect that a teacher would be irresponsible w/PORN in a class.
Chris: For the most part, the Net can be screened, and the viruses can be scanned.
cocoa: That is just ….inconceivable.
Abel: Well it is 4 pm here in Ireland and I have to get to the library before it closes at 5:00. Best of luck to you all during the rest of the day. It has been most interesting participating. Don’t forget to check out all the good websites devoted to education in Ireland, UK and rest of Europe.
Randy61: Perhaps a student could pull it up, though cocoa.
Sujay: A potential risk of technology is a VIRUS. Again, when student learnt that they have more POWER than a VIRUS, because they can delete it or choose to explore it!
Chris: But there are several problems: disk breaks, e-mail attachment is sent correctly, etc.
Randy61: If porn is there, there is always a possibility that it will surface.
sdhays: There can be an over-emphasis on technology. Teachers could get caught in the trap of teaching software instead of math or physics or Latin.
Chris: And with computer crashes or file corruption, hours of work can be lost in nanosecond
Randy61: That is it should be banned.
cocoa: Of course…but in THE CLASSROOM–with the teacher using it as a TOOL….doubt it
Dave: The only irresponsibility of technology is the time and efficiency you put into it. But then again all that is part of the growth process and you learn to pull and resource quicker and with more depth.
Erin: Honestly, I have very few worries concerning the use of technology, especially for our age group. Controversial information can have a negative influence on younger students. But high school students should be old enough to decide what is inappropriate and should not allow themselves to be influenced by such information.
Sujay: Technology is organic! Every part of nature is evolving and growing. Their will be obstacles but they can be overcome with education and mentorship. A rose cannot grow without its thorns! The thorns of computer problems give way to our understanding of how to grow our own roses!
Brent: Viruses are not the problem. The only problem is that the Internet is a network of encrypted codes. In those codes we find Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and when those codes are finally broken. What step will we take next?
cocoa: Hopefully teachers won’t use the technology to break codes.
Brent: Teachers don’t have to use technology to break codes.
Randy61: Kids could, teachers aren’t the only one’s with the technology, COCOA.
Chris: Yes, security is certainly an issue, but as far as education is concerned, it’s not all that important.
Brent: With the wide availability of information on the Internet, the resources are there for anyone to learn how.
cocoa: When used as a tool in classroom.
cocoa: Not at home!
cocoa: Of course anything else
sdhays: There can also be an over-dependence on technology. Teachers could get caught in the trap of allowing the software to do the teaching. We’ve already discussed how necessary teachers are to maximize the benefits of technology.
Erin: I agree with Brent: Registering onto this site was the first time that I gave out personal information over the Internet, and I must admit that I was a little nervous about it. But I have faith that this information is in good hands.
Dr. Linda Roberts: One of our priorities for students is ” all students will be technologically literate and responsible cybercitizens. Your thoughts on this goal??
Chris: Yes, students could easily learn how to use tech. negatively, but assuming teachers supervise well, this can be eliminated
Sujay: Good point Erin. Technology has access to controversial material. Yet, this is only in the eye of the beholder. I know that when books about suspense came out, people felt that the knowledge of killings would result in a bad society. Well, this has not happened. Therefore, the controversial material that the Internet offers is part of the open door thinking that created the Internet in the first place.
Arquay: How many students have personal web pages?
Arquay: Do many?
Randy61: Dr. Roberts, not all people are good citizens, let alone “cybercitizens,” I feel that this is an over optimistic idea.
Sujay: I believe that all students deserve the right to be CYBERCITIZENS. The government’s choice to facilitate the growth of computer usage around the US is very admirable! I believe that this is a crucial step for this day and age!
cocoa: Dr. Roberts I think that “good cybercitizens” is something that comes from in the home…
Chris: Personal websites are definitely becoming more popular, whether for college info or just for fun.
tom: Randy61 what you think we can do about the reality of this?
Julie: I think it is something admirable to aspire to, yet it will be a hard thing to accomplish. The government must be willing to spend money to assist those people who cannot afford computers and technology. Again, this is an issue we MUST deal with.
sdhays: I feel that it is a good goal. All social goals will never be fully realized, but can nevertheless be successful.
Randy61: Well, Tom, we could try to educate children at a very young age to be come as familiar with computers as the back of our hands.
Sujay: Students, around the US, are accessing information globally. We must not deny students this extraordinary experience because it will hinder their understanding of global connectivity!
Brent: The Department of Education should concentrate on the development of new technology to help schools. If we concentrate on the students that are behind then we will never be ahead. We need to push the educating institutes that of the technology of today into the technology of the future.
Chris: Yes, of course everyone has the right for cybercitizenship, assuming they don’t do something [i.e. spread viruses
that means they shouldn’t
Randy61: That is what I fear as well, Chris.
tom: The Internet is just a mirror of the real world, there will always be good and bad.
Chris: Yes, good and bad, but if you use it well, you don’t get much bad out of it.
Randy61: That is very true. As with ancient mythologies, there will always be a good and bad. One could not exist without the other.
Dr. Linda Roberts: One of our other priorities, “all students and teachers will have access to effective information technology in their classroom schools and communities.” Your thoughts on this?
Sujay: A great way to implement computer usage throughout the US, is to educate the CHILDREN. Teachers can be trained alongside the children, but the empowered student will develop ways to share their skills with their community and school. This interactive sharing can spread technological literacy faster than a course on the Internet, available to only students every semester.
sdhays: Anyway, it is extremely important that all students have the opportunity in their schools to be technology literate. In the new job market, technology skills are REQUIRED. The American educational system must provide students the opportunity to maximize their potential beyond their school years.
Randy61: That would be great, Dr. Roberts. That will help our communities very much.
Chris: Yes, Dr. Roberts, I think it is important to give everyone the chance to access the Net.
Chris: They will have so many fewer opportunities in the future without some experience.
tom: All students should be given access, just like they are given access to books, but all student don’t take advantage of books, and all students will not take advantage of technology.
Erin: Dr. Roberts: I feel that this is a goal worth striving for. The information available over the Internet could undoubtedly be beneficial to the cybercitizen. Giving all teachers and students access to the Internet will only enhance one’s education and global perspective.
Chris: Example: I don’t know exactly what I want to be, but chances are very high that I can use the Internet in numerous ways to help me throughout my career
Sujay: Dr. Roberts, I feel that allowing ALL students access to the INTERNET is vital. The Internet facilitates a student’s ability to DREAM. Only by having ways to dream, can students understand how to grow.
Julie: Everyone needs to have some measure of technological experience, or they will come out of school and not have the skills needed to find work. It will be so much harder for such children.
Chris: Even for occupations where technology is not a focus, it is still a very helpful tool for anything!
SLH: An Internet connected computer in each classroom is a start, but teachers will need supportive instruction. The vast majority of teachers have not used the Internet much.
Sujay: I agree with Chris! I believe that in today’s world, technology is everywhere. Whether you choose to be a mathematician or journalist, computer skills are pertinent in all fields!
Chris: Yes, Erin’s point is very true; even if the negative aspects are high, it would be more than worth it.
Cathy: It would not be fair to keep technology from people. It’s a part of a successful life today.
SLH: Programs like ThinkQuest, MayaQuest, etc. get teachers excited. They see their students engaged in in-depth learning.
Sujay: Technology is part of our educational DNA. Our genetic map to a future filled with great possibilities. Those who do not have access to technology will lose the vital code of information gathering!
Chris: When you think about it, it makes me feel bad for everyone who doesn’t have these tools. If you took them away from me, I’d lose a lot. I couldn’t do homework, class work, or the majority of my after-school activities.
Dr. Linda Roberts: A third priority is, “all teachers will effectively use technology. Much of the chat has focused on teachers and their important role in the classroom….any further thoughts on how to help teachers?
cocoa: Give them the training they need.
Chris: Exactly, and have them use it almost every day!
cocoa: To effectively use technology
cocoa: Not almost-EVERYDAY!!
Chris: Why not?
SLH: Teachers need well-written curriculum to use as a model. Seeing sample lessons in the teaching field sparks ideas.
Sujay: Teachers can be helped in a very simple way. They must be taught to empower their students by letting them experiment and showing them that they are learners, together!
K12nation.net: bblar says: I agree with cocoa. Technology in the class cannot be taken advantage of if the teachers don’t know how to use it.
cocoa: Because this century focuses on technology and computers…they need to use it each day to teach children how to use it.
krishg: I think that future teachers should be given more exposure to technology and its potential in the classroom, while they are still in college.
Chris: Right, but if computers aren’t used in class for a few days, that’s not bad.
SLH: bblar, I agree with you. Teachers know how to use computers for word processing and research, but they often don’t feel comfortable with chat, epals, simulations, etc.
Sujay: Teachers should encourage computer exploration. By gearing certain lesson on computer, they are arousing a subconscious desire for student to turn to technology for information!
Cathy: Teachers have to be encouraged to take a chance, to let the kids be leaders if the teacher knows the subject but doesn’t know the technology.
K12nation.net: Doug says: In some cases though I think teachers don’t necessarily need to know how to do EVERYTHING – they must simply be able to facilitate students’ endeavors with them.
K12nation.net: Mr. says: I feel that computers provide an important set of new tools for instruction. As teachers become more comfortable with the technology, they will begin to discover a wide array of possibilities for classroom application.
cocoa: I agree w/Doug.
Doug: Thanks cocoa.
SLH: Many of the best experiences come with the development of online projects. The students will often have the skills, but the teacher needs to have the willpower to engage in a project like that.
Chris: Yes, teachers only need to open the window and let students figure things out for themselves
Sujay: This facilitation can be as simple as watching students experiment. There is no need for teachers to control the students experimentation.
Mr.: Yes, Doug is right. Actually, it’s basically impossible to know everything. The key is just knowing enough to feel comfortable letting the students explore and learn.
Doug: Exactly. And in those projects as long as the teacher can push to get those projects done and the students have the ability, then the project can succeed.
bbalar: The teacher don’t have to know everything but they must not be afraid of computers. They must learn to explore
cocoa: It really doesn’t even start w/the teachers…it starts higher up…but that is a whole different chat!
K12nation.net: JoelGP says: All teachers do not care enough to work that much with students.
cocoa: Who would on that salary!!!
Doug: And I think that teachers around the country need to slowly open up to new possibilities with giving students some control.
K12nation.net: Evan says: In addition, it’s a lot more fun in my opinion to explore for myself rather than be instructed lesson-by-lesson.
Doug: I agree Evan.
Chris: Okay, but many do, and if they trust the students to learn for themselves and teach each other, many more skills can be shared than by having the teacher teach them all.
SLH: Actually, I would say that most teachers want students to succeed, but they honestly don’t have the strategies. They learned by old methods.
Mr.: I love working with the students. I think that in order to really do the best job possible, you need to enjoy the interaction with the students, and also be open to learning from them.
cocoa: It wouldn’t have to be a “lesson”…just having it available to enhance learning.
krishg: I agree with Evan, but what about the kids that can’t be trusted to explore on their own?
fmcginn: Technology is organic. It changes. Teachers need fresh methodologies that teach them how to mentor, how to guide the learning process, how to recognize learning styles. The technology is a tool that can be learned through exploration as learning needs dictate.
Sujay: True teachers, those who have a great desire to put lasting impacts on their students will work to develop technological experimentation, regardless of salary. These teachers are the true mentors!
Dr. Linda Roberts: We only have minutes left. We’d love to have you envision the classroom of the future. Paint the pictures!
Chris: For the students who can’t be trusted, just set up the computers to face inward, and have the teacher walk around the room. It’s not very difficult to tell if someone is off-task.
Mr.: Some students may need more guidance or monitoring, but we can also hope that the increased freedom will breed a great sense of responsibility in students.
Doug: I think that the classroom of the future will definitely include a great deal of distance learning and other new sorts of learning opportunities. The sight of a teacher lecturing for a whole period could dissolve entirely.
K12nation.net: Great insights everyone! Just to let you know, we have minutes left so make the most of them!
Sujay: The classroom of the future must not be considered a classroom. It must be a breeding ground for the synthesis of imagination and theory. Organic and without walls, this environment must serve all thinking styles.
fmcginn: The future school will be enabled by technology; it will have mentors that guide the learning process and offer options that suit learning styles. It will be global and interactive. And most critical of all, its focus will be the kids.
Evan: I agree with Doug. As schools get more and more crowded with the rise in incoming classes and as technology becomes more and more advanced, distance learning and “virtual” classrooms will likely become more and more commonplace…
Chris: One point I haven’t heard is that students must still have the face-to-face interaction with classmates who are physically in the same room and in the same walls.
Doug: People will be able to take all their necessary education without leaving their houses.
K12nation.net: Andrew says: there’s going to be a teacher at home or in the classroom in front of a large screen and camera… all or most of the students will be sitting at home or another designated area learning through a computer, watching what the teacher does…
K12nation.net: Chrissy says: In the future schools will be connected around the world, it will be a community learning experience.
Chris: I still think students must come to a school at some point in the day.
krishg: I agree with Chris. For students, especially at the earlier grades, social interaction is as important as learning fractions.
Chrissy: I agree with Doug, I think that much more of the learning will take place at home through interactive learning.
bbalar: There will be a lot of home schooled student because of the Internet
cocoa: I agree w/Doug also….
Sujay: Physically, the classroom of the future must be comprised of as much of nature as technology. We must blend computers with the hues of flowers and books! Technology will be an essential trademark of learning.
JoelGP: I believe that in the future we should separate students who have the will to learn and the ones who don’t. We need to encourage the “gifted” kids more. With so many more students in each school, learning should not be interrupted. Classes should be smaller and geared towards individual students.
Evan: Chris, no, virtual learning can’t take the place of physical interaction, but it can certainly supplement learning when physical interaction is impossible.
Andrew: Yeah, children, when young, need that interaction between teachers and aids, it helps them socialize with other students as well.
Chris: I think the best thing would be to have two students on a computer
Doug: Like Chris said, I think that there should be some face to face interaction, but it isn’t 0% necessary, and even today I’m sure some people take all their classes from behind a computer screen.
Chris: They’d learn together, both near and far!
fmcginn: School needs to offer the opportunity for all the needs to take place . . . on-line and physically . . . by options developed to empower and accelerate learning. What do you need to learn better? Education needs to accommodate that answer.
Sujay: Virtual reality is a great step towards learning. Even though the physically connectivity lacks, the intellectual freedom and collaborative learning makes up for what is lost!
Chrissy: There needs to be balance between socialization and interactive learning.
krishg: I think the classroom of the future needs to a fusion of the physical classroom and the online world. A balance or synergy between the two.
Mr.: The classroom of the future will involve tremendous choice. Students will be able to choose much more specific areas for study, and even the locations and times for class. Teachers will also experience greater freedom, as they will be able to offer courses in specialized subject areas. This will also allow teachers to focus on individual strengths, thereby providing more effective instruction to the students.
Chris: Sorry, Sujay, the learning does not make up for losing the ability to talk to people face-to-face
Evan: Doug, I agree. Our district is toying with the ideas of virtual and distance learning as we speak, faced with an unmanageable future class size. It must be considered as a possibility, at least.
cocoa: I know that’s right.
Doug: Yup Evan
sdhays: I do not think that most public school classes will take place at home over a computer link. That depends far too much on individual technological resources. In order to provide as equal an environment as possible, the classroom of the future will still be a classroom.
bbalar: Virtual reality will be a great step in technology and it will open many doors in education be there be a more personal learning as well.
Doug: In districts where overpopulation occurs, ours is getting there, it would be much cheaper and feasible to have students take their classes from home and not physically on school grounds.
Chris: Distance-learning is great, but it can’t possibly take the place of all classes. Call me ignorant, but you really won’t get as much out of some classes.
cocoa: Right Chris…I took an online course and you can’t get the same out of it.
Sujay: As someone who has experienced a virtual classroom and distance learning, I found that interacting via computer is far more educational and personal. It is hard to imagine, but I felt very close to my professor, even though he was 2 hours away. The mind-to-mind connection must not be lost. I agree that physical connectivity is vital, but to be truly organic learners we must not let touch get in the way of intellectual fusion!
Andrew: Tax dollars or school dollars could pay for all the technology needed in a student’s home.
bbalar: Student will learn to discover on their own and will use teachers as a guide.
Doug: And that cost of that technology would be cheaper than the cost of having a kid physically in school.
Evan: Andy is right. Technology is fast approaching the point where such a plan would be cost effective.
bbalar: Cost effective is good but kids need more than just computers.
cocoa: True…but it is not there yet.
Andrew: Well then there should be options: do you want to continue school in a building, or at home?
Evan: Maybe not yet, but this is the classroom of the future we’re discussing. Who knows what the market will be like in ten, twenty, or fifty years?
bbalar: In both.
Chrissy: That way would also separate the ambitious from the slakers. It would test people to see if they would actually do their work while not in a school environment.
krishg: To say that all a student needs is the information a computer can bring them, leaves out so many facets of education and development that goes along with it.
Sujay: Right, kids need the vitality of texts and chemical labs, for example. This can be supplied in a classroom that is virtual but has real learning portals to visit!
Doug: Maybe you could vary which classes are taken at the school and which are through distance learning.
fmcginn: Linda, you are surely dealing with the fearless, bright, wonderful citizens of tomorrow! Their arguments have been caring and astute, and you’ve led us on a wonderful exploration of ideas! There’s been great excitement in the classroom that I know will continue after this digital chat!
Doug: Like Chris said before, some could be taken more easily via a computer than others.
Andrew: Doug has a point.
JoelGP: Virtual learning is great, and I have much experience with it, but I feel that “Faceless” connections like this chat are not as good as a classroom debate.
sdhays: I do not think that having students taking all of their classes alone at home over the Internet is a desirable future. For many students, especially younger ones, the only time that they leave the house is to go to school. In these instances, technology would in effect close them off from the rest of the world.
Mr.: Another advantage of offering virtual courses is that it allows a school to offer highly specialized courses that may not draw enough students to be supported in the traditional classroom.
Evan: True.. the notion that computers can replace teachers devalues the profession, But I think what we’re trying to get at here is that while today the teacher is veritably the only source of education a student has access to, in the future that does not have to be so.
Chris: They could come to a physical school for a few classes (labs, etc.) and have distance-learning for the rest
Doug: If your school didn’t offer a course in a certain remote foreign language, you could find one that was offered anywhere in the world and take it
Sujay: Yes Joel, once a face to face contact is enabled, digital or physical, learners can forget that they are not really connected physically!
Chrissy: There are so many different types of learning and not all of these can be met by a computer. Different classes will need different teaching styles.
bbalar: I agree with Joel. Technology allows us to interact with people near and far but that is something missing.
Mr.: I agree, Sujay. My experience with videoconferencing has proven to me that virtual interaction can be highly personable.
sdhays: I agree that distance learning should be used to expand the offerings of curriculum.
Evan: Doug has the right idea…it wouldn’t replace our current scholastic environment; rather, it would augment it..
Sujay: Distance learning must start out as a supplement. As introduction grows, students will adapt to this new form of technology.
krishg: I think you are right Sujay, we can’t just go from black to white, there has to be a progression of integration of technology.
Doug: The gradual addition of online courses could slowly ease students into that sort of learning. From experiences that we have had here at HCRHS, online courses seem to be well taken.
Evan: If we look at the use of the computer in today’s classroom and ask ourselves if we had imagined it would have such a vital role these days when it was first introduced in the early eighties, I’m sure we would be as doubtful as we are today about distance learning and the Internet.
Andrew: However, if we were to have digital cameras in every house, would the teacher be able to see everyone? Would the students be able to see each other? Having so many windows up at once could lead to confusion or distraction.
bbalar: There must be a balance between the distance learning and traditional education.
Sujay: Videoconferencing, another virtual portal, is an example of how we connect with other through digital data. This experience does not end with binary data sent across the network lines. Somewhere in between, emotions are sent on this technological live-wire, as well.
sdhays: As with any new form of communication, technology should be used to grow our understanding of the world and our connections with other people. But it should not come at the expense of other forms of communication and interaction and learning.
Doug: I think it can be done well. The technology available today for such endeavors wasn’t
Doug: even imagined five years ago
Sujay: Thank you Dr. Roberts for giving me a chance to express my ideas on technology!
K12nation.net: Thank you all for joining us today. The chat room will remain open for those of you who would like to continue the chat. Unfortunately Dr. Roberts has to leave, but we would like to thank here for taking the time out of her day to talk with us all. Thanks again Dr. Roberts!
Andrew: Thank you for your time.
Chris: Yes, thanks!
bbalar: Thank you for time.
Chrissy: Thanks for listening to our ideas.
Mr.: Thank you for this opportunity for discussion, Dr. Roberts. This was an interesting forum!
sdhays: Thank you!
fmcginn: Thank you, Dr. Roberts, for this opportunity for students to offer their perspectives!
Doug: Dr. Roberts, thanks for the ability here to share our ideas with you and hopefully they will help to ring in a new age of education for the US and world.
krishg: Thank you!
Evan: We also have to look at the future of our society. Would it be healthy for our children if they were taught in the education environment as it is today, only to discover that their entire business life will occur behind two screens, connected to one another via live-wire?
Andrew: Good point.
SLH: I appreciated the opportunity to share ideas with you all. Thanks!
Linda G. Roberts
Linda G. Roberts is Director of the Office of Educational Technology and Special Adviser to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. The November 1998 Smithsonian Magazine cites Roberts’ “championship thinking” and says she is “America’s advocate for educational technology at the highest levels of government.”
Dr. Roberts coordinates the Department’s technology programs and plays a key role in developing the Clinton Administration’s Educational Technology Initiative. Roberts steered the development of the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants, the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, the Regional Technology in Education Consortia, the new Technology Teacher Training Program, the new Community- Based Technology Centers Program and the new Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships Program; a total of more than $700 million in FY99 budget.
As Senior Adviser on Technology, Dr. Roberts represents the Secretary on interagency committees and is also a member of the White House educational technology working group.
To stay in touch with the field, Roberts travels extensively, speaking at conferences, conducting teacher and student forums while visiting schools and state agencies and meeting with developers in high tech companies to stay in touch with advances in technology. Department of Education on-line discussions, national conferences and working seminars are also critical components of these outreach efforts.
Roberts’ work has been widely recognized. She was Electronic Learning Magazine’s, Technology Educator of the Decade, the recipient of the U.S. Distance Learning Association’s Eagle Award for outstanding contributions to public policy, the Federal 100 Award in Information Technology, and the Computerworld/ Smithsonian Award for Leadership and Excellence in Educational Technology. Roberts also serves as a member of the George Lucas Education Foundation Board and served on the Advisory Board of the Children’ s Television Workshop for many years.
Roberts’ career started in 1962 when she was an elementary classroom teacher and reading specialist in Ithaca, NY and Brookline, MA. She later taught elementary, secondary and adult reading programs in Oak Ridge, TN and then joined the faculties of the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University. Prior to joining the Department, Roberts was a Project Director and Senior Associate with the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), where she headed up three major assessments on educational technology: Power on! New Tools for Teaching and Learning, Linking for Learning: A New Course for Education, and Adult Literacy and New Technologies: Learning for a Lifetime.
Roberts holds a B.S. from Cornell University (1962), an Ed.M. from Harvard University (1963), and an Ed.D. from the University of Tennessee (1973).
She is married to Michael Roberts and they have a daughter Rachel, and a son David.
The Kids Chat was a real-time, on-line discussion with Linda Roberts, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education, and students from around the world to discuss issues important to students and the future of technology in education. The Kids Chat, hosted by K12nation.net, was a two-hour event held on June 13, 2000. The following is the transcript from the discussion.