Monday, May 5, 2008

Sharing Some Frustration

Hi Everyone,

Most of you know that most of my blogs are more "delivering of information" than sharing my everyday thoughts. I don't usually think of this blog as a personal journal where I divulge my inner thoughts, just an occasional aside about family or travelling. However, I am going to "vent" today and realized I had the audience that would most understand.
I had an occasion to visit my old school today. It is the school to which I brought technology to in the eighties and nourished it throughout the nineties. This is where I gained my passion for the new opportunities that students could have to become a part of a world-wide community of learners. This is where I had the chance to collaborate with staff and students to design, create, write, and plan using the newest technology. Well, it seems that time has stood still at this school and the computers that were there in 1996 are still there, running Windows 95, unable to use many functions of the Internet and the staff has been given so many new "cook book" ways of teaching math and literacy, that the computers sit, all having the same "screensaver disease." Although no money has gone into upgrading any technology in the school, a vast sum of money was spent on a "canned' computer program called Fast Forward. It is a computer software program designed to raise the literacy-readiness of the kindergarten students and they are now the only ones that can be scheduled into the computer lab each morning. They come six at a time with an aide. I went in to watch them today. They were clicking keys, but paying little attention to the feedback. They wore earphones and were attentive to the program, but I am not sure how much they were learning. The aide, while I was there was reading a paperback book. I asked her what she knew about what the students were doing and she said that she knew nothing about it but was just to watch them (babysit). I was soooo frustrated as were many of the teachers. They had no say in the expenditure for this program and now the little time that they had to use the computer lab was gone.
I probably would not have made this the topic of my blog tonight and I promise not to do this again, however, as I was reading Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog, I came upon a video that I just had to share to express my feelings and probably to express many of yours. It is by one of my favorite children's singer Tom Chapin and is called Not on the Test. Give a listen. I know you can relate! You will find it at Not only did it express some of my feelings tonight, but Tom Chapin had some action steps that we could all take. I'd love to hear your comments.

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