Ten Years and Counting
More than ten years ago, The ComputED Gazette started reviewing - then awarding - educational software. It's been quite a ride. In the early 1990s, most of us believed that educational technology would be completely ubiquitous by 2006 -and that, of course, has not happened. At least not in most public schools.
There are notable exceptions, but these are few and far between. Two primary reasons are: First, the financial burden has been more than anyone anticipated. The second reason is about people, mostly teachers. For technology to become truly ubiquitous, every teacher in every classroom has to fully embrace technology tools as soon as they become available. And that, any teacher can tell you, is virtually impossible. Most classroom teachers don't have the time, much less the budget, to fiddle with complex hardware and balky software when their daily responsibilities include not just the basic classroom requirements, but all of the unmet needs of their students.
The ComputED Gazette was designed to try to address at least a few important issues by sorting through and recommending only the best educational products for school and home use. After more than a decade, perhaps it's time for us proponents of educational technology to take a new look at our model of teaching and learning.
Teaching and learning are essential human activities. Whether it's adult-to-child, adult-to-adult, or even child-to-child, the whole process is about a connection between two people. Think about it: What do you remember about your compulsory education days? The blackboard, the textbooks, the overhead projector? No - of course, you remember friends - but when thinking about school itself, you remember your teachers. The good, the bad, the tired, but, most of all, the teachers who really made you work, and who cared about you. We need to always remember that teachers and students are more important than the plant, the books, the technology, the software. If we are to build a model of teaching and learning that really works, we need to start with people and then plan technology that truly enhances the human relationships. Nothing else matters more in education.