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Honing the Power of Technology

Books on the latest software for technology directors and IT staff

While some studies suggest students want more connection between lessons and technology in the classroom, and that many teachers often struggle to accomplish this, the following books can help educators relate technology to students and improve achievement.

Information Technology in Schools: Creating Practical Knowledge To Improve Student Performance

The Jossey-Bass Education Series


This paperback book of just over 100 pages, including real scenarios written in the first person, is a how-to guide in ways educators can use technology to rejuvenate academic classrooms and learning outcomes. The chapters offer successful steps in using technology for different goals--ranging from informing educators how to teach computer search skills to middle school pupils to how to build technological know-how among teachers. The book opens with a model for organizational learning: "A new mental model is called for as we harness the power of technology to help our schools continuously improve the education of our children."

It then covers how to involve stakeholders in developing technology as well as how to track data on student achievement, and then explains how to link technology to academic improvements and how technology promotes classroom innovation.

Other Jossey-Bass books include Technology In Its Place: Successful Technology Infusion In Schools, and Edutopia: Success Stories for Learning in the Digital Age.

The Children's Machine:Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer

Basic Books


As a sequel to his book, Mindstorms, Seymour Papert, having invented the programming language LOGO, explains in The Children's Machine how computers can revolutionize education. Instead of integrating tools of the computer into lessons, schools have isolated those tools. So Papert offers various examples, from his own experiences, as well as from classrooms nationwide, in how computers can be used in lessons. He also makes clear how learning new skills is the most critical lesson for any student.

Teaching With Technology: Creating Student-Centered Classrooms

Teachers College Press


Using a longitudinal database of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow, a research collaboration between universities, public schools and Apple Computer Inc., this book reveals case studies and thoughtful stories exploring teacher concerns, teacher learning and teacher beliefs about instructional changes; student and teacher roles; student attentiveness to lessons; teacher isolation; and how to manage computers and other technology in the classroom. Some chapters focus on enhancing innovation and promoting teamwork or sharing, as well as integrating technology into the curriculum. It also reveals the highs and lows, or obstacles, in staff development, such as access problems and lack of technical support.

Learning to Solve Problems with Technology: A Constructivist Perspective

Prentice Hall


Instead of learning from technology in classrooms, this book says technology, such as video, hypermedia, and the Internet, can be used to learn from a constructivist point of view. The book emphasizes learning to solve problems. The book reveals how various tools of technology can stimulate students. The Internet, for example, can be used to foster community partnerships and multimedia is a new form of interactive literacy. The chapters cover surfing the Web, Web publishing, conferencing, microworlds and virtual reality. In each example, the reader is exposed to the learning process, the activities, the teachers' role and assessments.

Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom

Harvard University Press


Author Larry Cuban, also a Stanford University education professor, argues that computers in classrooms and lab centers are not used to the potential they should be. These machines really are only used as typewriters as they were a decade ago. Teachers can learn to use computers as a benefit to students when they understand the technology themselves and when they see it will shape their own curricula. Cuban points out that civic and social goals of schooling need to be addressed to move forward.