Teachers as Technology Immigants to use (Digital) Flex Texts Fall, 2009


“Governor (Schwarzenegger), everyone here, the adults up here, we are the technology immigrants.

“… And until we, as teachers, cross the line (and use electronic technologies in classes) and understand that this is how (students are) going to live their lives, we will be failing. Until we understand that’s how we need to teach and reach them, we will be failing them.

“… And we may be faced with bigger class sizes. And we can sit here and pound and woe about it, but our job and our commitment to the youngsters of next year is how do we deliver the same quality of education to them as everyone else had had in our system, regardless of what our resources are.

“… Our board of education gave me a simple challenge just last year. They say, how do you keep a vision in the face of adversity? And (using digital ‘Flex Texts’)is one of the ways. We don’t take our eye off of the ball. The ball is how we deliver world-class education to every one of our students. And one of the fundamental elements of doing that is having digital resources necessary to allow teachers to be able to compete and make sure these kids have every, every advantage they have in their learning and their instruction.

” … even if we don’t realize immediate savings as we make this trend, it’s a matter of if you have a teacher having access.

” … We actually have one of the systems … a Classroom Media Presentation System. So with one computer, with one computer and one projector, a teacher in this classroom can reach 170 children a day. They can print out the necessary material, the kids can take notes of the necessary material, they can see it visually. That’s how you can close that gap.

“And I’m sorry, I’m hard-pressed to believe that any school leader is going to be able to challenge and say well, we can’t do that. We’ve got that. This isn’t a one-to-one initiative. We’ve not talking about trying to find resources to get every single child a laptop computer. That would be a great goal, another goal we may have in this district in the short term. But for what we’re talking here, we’re talking about getting content in a far more meaningful manner, a far more current manner and a far more exciting manner.

Dr. Donald Zimring, Superintendent, Las Virgenes Unified School District, California, June 8, 2009.

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.