Opinion

The unfulfilled promise of educational technology

Outside of the occasional computer lab, basic webpage, or iPad in the classroom, schools have resisted technological innovation. There are three ways in which technology can transform education: personalization, access and productivity.

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Most schools lacking tech muscle

As the state explores shifting its standardized testing system into cyberspace, about two-thirds of Massachusetts schools face a major technological challenge: They lack enough computers, other equipment, or broadband capacity to test large numbers of students online simultaneously, according to a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education survey.

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Too much technology is bad for the brain

Many educational reformers see technology as the panacea for what ails education in America, but technology is more a cause of what ails education than a cure for it. The cognitive risk of abandoning handwriting is a small manifestation of a huge problem. In the money-driven quest to digitize and automate education, we are neglecting the development of many human capacities that matter most.

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Three myths about technology's role in education

Most of the conversations around technology's role in education are missing the mark — honing in on ed-tech financing or the “technology gap.” There are three common myths surrounding technology’s purpose in the education system, including the thought that new technology developments should immediately “disrupt” current operations.

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Why aren’t more schools using free, open tools?

Schools have many reasons for wanting to systematize technology but are they missing a key element of the technology revolution--a moment for real change--by locking down computing systems and by default ensuring students remain tech-users, not creators?

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All-girls schools cited as key to women winning in tech

Attending an all-girls high-school or college can keep women on the technology track, a panel of women investors and executives said at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing Summit this week. Being in a same-sex academic environment erased some of the stereotypes and stigmas that prevent girls from pursuing a passion for technology, according to the Women & Tech Next Wave session panelists.

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How to get girls into coding

The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there. While parents often worry about recreational “screen time,” some educators now believe that gaming could be a way to get girls interested in coding, and even to increase the numbers of girls in STEM

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Can GPS tracking help protect autistic children?

While the effort to expand families’ access to tracking devices is a worthy one, it shouldn’t overshadow the lower-tech strategies for preventing and responding to wandering by children with autism: collaboration, education and sharing information. Though safety can be enhanced by technology, it shouldn’t depend on technology.

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America is in short supply of cyber-experts

It’s time to recognize the increasing need for cybersecurity experts. We must encourage this career path in students from an early age. Efforts that encourage science, technology, engineering and math education for elementary, middle and high school students are essential.

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Cyberbullying — more than "mean girls"

Cyberbullying sparked media attention in dramatic, high-profile cases in which victims of online harassment committed suicide. These stories raise awareness of dramatic cases. But they overlook the dangers of minor, daily, mundane incidents — teasing, name calling, taunts that have a corrosive impact on victims’ quality of life.

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