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Heard: Teachers and Students Resist Classroom Tech in Idaho… A Coming War?

The Original GHCA Computer Lab from Behind

This is a case of Occupy applied to education budgets… A teacher bites technology story… an early cannon blast in the war between man and machines when it comes to training tomorrow’s youth. Expect more battles in the future.

Once a fighter always a fighter might not be applicable in all cases. But it’s true for Ann Rosenbaum, Post Falls, Idaho, a high school teacher and a former military police officer in the Marines who has been resisting a statewide plan that forces the use of computers in classrooms.

According to a story by Matt Richtel for New York Times, Idaho legislatures passed a law last year that requires high school students to take some online classes to graduate. The law also states that teachers and students should be given laptops or tablets.

Now, you might wonder why are these teachers are protesting against the use of technology in the classroom? Well, the teachers are upset because “the state may have to shift tens of millions of dollars away from salaries for teachers and administrators.”

In all fairness, there are teachers who are willing to adopt the technology. However, according to the article, many teachers do not feel they were ever asked for any opinion about the use of technology.

“Teachers don’t object to the use of technology,” said Sabrina Laine, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, which has studied the views of the nation’s teachers using grants from organizations like the Gates and Ford Foundations. “They object to being given a resource with strings attached, and without the needed support to use it effectively to improve student learning.”

In Idaho, teachers are saying that the lawmakers paid more attention to lobbying by technology companies like Intel and Apple. 75,000 parents and teachers have signed a petition to put a referendum on the ballot box next November that could overturn the law.

“Many details about how students would use their laptop or tablet are still being debated. But under the state’s plan, that teacher will not always be in the room. The plan requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits.”

Teachers are hesitating to accept the law because they would prefer to use the technology when they think it’s needed and beneficial. The Governor of Idaho said “that putting technology into students’ was the only way to prepare them for the work force.”  Last year, 600—half of the students at Post Fall High School protested against the new rules passed by the state.

The debate over the use of technology in classroom is not going to end soon.

What do you think? Post your comments below?

Source: New York Times

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