Way back when, I mean way back, when I was hoping to someday use my new principal's certificate in the Mesa Public Schools, I was attending my last of six classes the district offered to aspiring wannabe principals like me.
This last class was being taught by the assistant superintendent. One of the many topics he covered was the efficacy of the Apple computer labs the district had purchased for each of the thirty-nine elementary schools. After five years and an investment in the millions, the district test scores had not risen, in fact, he said, the scores had dipped ever so slightly.
He did not blame the computer labs for the lack of growth in the district test scores. He did comment though on how after all that investment in technology the district did not receive a rise in student skills as reflected in their test scores.
Now to the present . An article written in the Wall Street Journal by Betsy Morris and Tawnell D. Hobbs, titled, "Schools Pushed for Tech in Every Classroom. Now Parents are Pushing Back", discusses how some parents of children in public schools are questioning how much all of this technology is really helping their students learn.
Research from the RandCorp. and other unnamed sources "say there is no clear evidenceshowing which new tech-related eduction offerings or approaches work in schools."
The article mentions how parents are asking for proof technology is helping their children.
Of course there is the quote from a group supporting technology in schools. "We are moving into a time of exponential change," said Kieth Kruger, CEO of Consortium for School Networking.
Here at New Park Street Christian Academy, we use computers in order to teach your child over the internet. Keyboarding skills are taught to all fourth grade students and first year students in older grades. After one year of keyboarding skills, students spend time mastering Word and Excel, usually a semester at a time. Beginning coding is taught the third year. computers are not used to teach core academics.
Saxon Math with pencil and paper, solid math manipulatives-base ten blocks and fact cards. Reading uses real books. Writing is taught with pencil and paper. The final copy is typed on Word.
Students prefer to use paper and pencil to do serious learning. No contest. All prefer paper and pencil.
Computers have a place in educating our children, but not as teachers.
I am Tim Ihms, the founder, head master, instructor, book keeper, and part time custodian at New Park Street Christian Academy. The blogs on this page are written for the parents of New Park Street students and for those who may be interested in sending their child to the school some day.