Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bill Gates on Technology in the Classroom

Q: “Are you disappointed schools have been slow to embrace technology in the classrooms?”

A: “You can’t blame them, but oh yeah, I’m disappointed. The dreams of the past—whether it was public TV being rolled into the classroom to teach Spanish, or the film projectors or the videotapes or the computer-aided instruction drill systems—the hopes have been dashed in terms of technology  having some big impact. The foundation (Gates’s), I think can play a unique role there. Now, our money is more to the teacher-effectiveness thing, and technology is No. 2, but I’ll probably spend more money on the technology things.”

Comment: I think Gates has it right. Technology is a tool for the teachers and students. I might use the example of PowerPoint. It’s a clever tool. Used by someone who does not know how to organize a presentation, it becomes a boring tool. Used by teachers and students who understand how to “tell them what you’re going to tell them,” “tell them” and “tell them what you’ve told them,” the technology of PowerPoint becomes an effective tool for communication. The teacher has to use PowerPoint as part of the curriculum in explaining how to organize a presentation. RayS.

“Bill Gates Turns Attention Toward Teacher Improvement.” Stephanie Banchero. Wall Street Journal (March 21, 2011), Internet.

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