Technology’s Evolving Role in Education

 Buckley wove Flat Stanley into a unit about rural/urban/suburban communities. “After the students brought Flat Stanley back to school, they worked with a partner to photograph Flat Stanley and write a script about the experiences he had,” said Buckley. The students recorded their pieces on Chatterpix Kids, an app that made it seem like Flat Stanley was speaking. “Watching each other’s videos was fun and engaging, and heightened their understanding of what we were studying,” continued Buckley. “Technology added another layer to something that we were already doing.”

Two other teachers spoke about how they used technology. “I view it as a tool,” said Marcia Daley-Savo, the instructional leader for social studies at John Jay Middle School. “As a teacher I have to decide what is the best way to teach something. The experience of mummifying sausages in our unit on Ancient Egypt cannot be replaced by technology! Technology can make a big world much smaller through Skype. I’ve been able to make connections with the British Museum and look forward to bringing their experts to my classroom.”

“Our goal is to create opportunities not expectations,” said Christopher Nelson, the District’s director of technology. He and his team have been installing Apple TVs, distributing iPads, and coaching educators across the district. “While the technology is there, we don’t want teachers to feel pressured. When the time is right, the tools are available."

"Technology has the potential to provide collaborative and creative opportunities that otherwise couldn’t be provided," said Superintendent Andrew Selesnick after the meeting. "But it also has the potential to support a kind of rote learning we don’t favor and to interrupt the vital skills learned through human interaction."

"The challenge is in getting right to its great potential and somehow bypassing the negatives that can exist in the early stages of learning and implementation."