Technology Done Right
I like the name of Maine's 2002 pioneering one-to-one program, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). It has the word "learning" in it, and that's exactly what it takes from many players to implement the approximately 3,000 one-to-one programs across the nation and to make them successful. Anita Givens, associate commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, comments on her state's movement, "We learned that the complete package of content, technology, professional development and support was critical." Our technology focus this issue begins with "Lessons Learned from One-to-One" written by Susan McLester. Have these much sought after and talked about programs made a difference, or not?
One of the big lessons learned is that technology must enable learning, and not the reverse. Until recently, in many districts the tech folks and the curriculum folks were not on the same page. "Technology leaders used to be the wires-and-boxes people. They handled the technical side of the house," says Alice Owen, executive director of technology in the Irving (Texas) Independent School District. But as budgets have been crunched and student achievement is in the forefront, all investments need to align with student learning, creating partnerships with both sides of the aisle. In "The Changing Role of the CTO," written by Alan Dessoff, we learn how this is working for administrators.
As many of our expert sources say, there is a huge spectrum of district programs. Some are innovative, allowing students to learn using the technology to which they relate and on the topics that interest them most, and others are using computers as add-ons or word processors. And there exists an entire group of teachers who are not as easily adaptable to these programs. Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway write about this in "When the Baby-Boomers Meet the Mobile Generation."
Readers' Choice Top 100 Products
Each year we have readers nominate products that have made a positive difference in their school districts, including hardware, software, books and materials, Web sites, and facilities products. At the end of the year, we announce the winners of our Readers' Choice Top 100 Products. I invite you to go to districtadministration.com to nominate a product that you think deserves the attention of your colleagues in the district and across the nation. The deadline is Monday, September 12th.
Judy Faust Hartnett, Editor in Chief
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