By now, many educators understand that technology has the potential to transform teaching and learning. But the term “technology” covers vast territory, and there are many different layers of tech and ways of integrating it from school to school. At times, where one kind of technology is appropriate and helpful in one school, the same tech can cause big problems for another.
Take Elmhurst Community Prep, a Title I middle school in East Oakland, Calif. It’s a tough neighborhood where kids walk by police busts on their way to school, all kids receive free and reduced lunch and 15 percent of entering sixth graders can’t read. Second-year principal Kilian Betlach hoped that bringing a student data system and learning software into Elmhurst classrooms would help boost student achievement.