Effectively using technology in education

Steven Ross and Deborah Lowther explore the value of technology in the classroom

OUR FIRST SIGHT of the aging inner-city school left us totally unprepared for what we observed inside. Students in every classroom were highly active and engaged; their voices intermixed with pervasive clicking of computer keyboards. The fifth and sixth grades were working on a “unit project” on Mexico, designed to integrate learning of history, geography, foreign language, and mathematics. Students gathered around laptops individually or in pairs performing a wide variety of technology applications, downloading Internet resources, creating spreadsheets and graphs, and designing PowerPoint presentations on project findings. When the bell rang, most had to be coaxed to stop working and go to their next class.

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October 2009