What are the Questions Here?
Lots of rumblings about the results of the Speak Up 2008 survey conducted by Project Tomorrow—a national education nonprofit group based in Irvine, California. According to the survey, students feel that schools are desperately wanting on the technology front. There is an exponential rise this year in the number of students reporting that they complete schoolwork with the help of Web 2.0 tools.
Students suggest firewalls, filters, the limited knowledge and use of technology by teachers and the restrictions against students using their own technology to be impediments to engagement in the classroom and overall learning.
Julie Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow presented the findings on Capitol Hill to congressional staffers focused on education technology issues.
Eyebrows raised, cynicism in full gear, I immediately asked myself: What portion of the federal economic stimulus money can schools apply to technology purchases? Are technology companies hoping for a cash cow in the education market? Who funded this research?
But really, are those the questions I should be asking? If I were a school administrator would I be harnessing the power of the mediums children use to communicate with each other so that my voice would become audible within those mediums, or would I desperately try to rein in everything and control the conversation? What are the implications in either case?