Technology Tools of Teaching are Used Throughout the World
By Martha Sessums
Students get tested all the time. So do adults. Life is often a multiple-choice test.
When the results of the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released this week, the chatter about the value of classroom testing increased. More that 60 countries participated, and the PISA results showed that U.S. teenagers on average failed to finish in the top 20 of the math, science or reading scores. Some educational experts objected to the emphasis on testing, while others supported testing and lamented the U.S.’s poor performance.
Many commentators indicated that the countries moving up the list were successful because they found new ways to teach. And that reminded me of the ACE Partner Schools and ACE Learning Centers. They too are not tradition bound and embrace change. Part of their change support is the use of technology in the classroom, especially as a tool to assist learning. Some examples:
–Blended learning is being tested in many forms in classrooms, including those at Summit Public Schools in Redwood City and San Jose and at Alpha: Blanca Alvarado Middle School in San Jose
–STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is key in schools such as University Prep Academy in San Jose and Magnolia Science Academy in San Jose
–Smartboards are major tools of teaching in schools such as Granada Islamic School and Oakland International High School
Technology in many forms has an impact around the world too. In a suburb of Paris, low income students use iPads and the results are positive. But in other parts of the world, technology is not just computers and tablets. Namibian students watch educational television programs that teach them English and improve their creativity. In the Philippines, mobile phones provide access to educational videos and lessons. Radio is high tech in Southern Sudan where students listen to broadcast lessons in English, local languages, math and life-skills. Even robot “robobabies” teach teens in Columbia about getting pregnant, resulting in a 40% drop in teen pregnancies.
ACE has a history of providing schools with the technology of the time (we started by providing distance learning classes using broadcast TV.) Today it’s about the Internet, video and specialized curriculum, hardware advances and more. ACE schools and ACE Learning Centers are busy testing the processes, curriculum and the appropriate supporting technology. What is great is that they have the courage to embrace the many changes in education.
Perhaps there is more than one answer to some multiple-choice questions.