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Greater use of technology allows for decreased numbers, but improved quality, of teachers?

Terry Moe and John Chubb say…



There is every reason to believe that technology will only become more effective with time. The same cannot be said of the traditional “technology” of education – teachers and classrooms – unless that world changes fundamentally. (p. 77)


Scores of technology-based instructional programs are being used in schools throughout America. . . . A recent survey indicated that the two main issues holding back technology use are “It doesn’t fit in the schedule,” and “There is not sufficient time to train teachers.” Nowhere does it say that the software is inadequate or that technology has dubious instructional value. (p. 77)


If elementary students spend but one hour a day learning electronically, certified staff could be reduced by a sixth. At the middle school level, two hours a day with computers would reduce staff requirements by a third. High schools, with three hours of usage, could reduce staff by up to a half. This level of computer usage is quite feasible given instructional technology that exists today. (p. 80).


The quality of teachers would benefit from the increased use of technology in at least two important ways. Even after investing in hardware and software, which are trivial compared to the cost of teachers, schools would have funds from staff savings to increase teacher pay and to provide more time for teacher training and planning. Added time for professional development, with proper supervision and accountability, would improve teacher quality. Added pay would help attract and retain better talent. Better talent is the most important ingredient of better schools. The [Dayton View Academy and Dayton Academy] charter schools . . . are already demonstrating the feasibility of these ideas – in the toughest of circumstances. (p. 80)


[Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education]


Previous posts in this series


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    Education’s resistance to technology will be overcome

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    It would be impossible for the information revolution to unfold and NOT have transformative implications for how children can be educated

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    Technology will free learning from the dead hand of the past

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    Technological change is destined to be resisted by the teachers unions

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    Correlation or causation? Teacher resistance to state technology initiatives

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