Jeff Whipple has a blog entry contrasting hand-written approach to writing versus technology. It’s a short entry that’s quite…pithy. Here’s what I got out of it, the “kickers” of writing with technology:
- Writing is a laborious process without technology…you get hand cramps (maybe we should consider it takes longer to get carpal tunnel syndrome (sp?)) clutching that pen and scribbling on paper.
- Easier to compose, edit and publish.
- Easier to reach an authentic audience that “stretches far beyond a teacher or my classmates–someone whose role…is only to assign it a mark.”
- At home, students write with technology–one on one technology access. At school, they’re stuck with “traditional, structured and less inviting methods of content creation.”
In another book, I’ll cite it later, I read that a Special Ed student was asked, “So what difference has technology made for you? What difference has one to one laptop initiative made for you?” The high school student–who’d been special ed since he began his education–shared that with a laptop, he was as smart/smarter than his classmates. Without that technology…well…he was special ed. Here’s the exchange:
The superintendent from a neighboring school district turned to one of the students and said, in a very accusatory tone, “So, how is this [the one-to-one laptop computer access] really making a differnce for you?
The young man, Casey, looked the superintendent squarely in the eyes and replied, “Sir, I’m special ed, and I’ve been special ed all my life. But with this thing here,” he said pointing to his laptop equipment, “with this, I am just as smart as the next kid. I don’t read so well, and learning through my eyes is hard. With the laptop, what I do is write what I am going to turn in, like an essay or answers to the questions the teacher has on the assignment, and then I go up to the menu bar and pull down to ‘speak it.” Then I put on my headphones, close my eyes, and listen as the computer reads back to me what I have written. If what I have written makes sense, then I know what I have written is OK to hand in. If not, then I can go back and make my corrections.”
Source: Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works
Why do we continue to support presidential candidates that believe NCLB can change schools for the better by emphasizing high stakes tests and accountability for nonsense, unreal learning expectations?