Chris Lehmann on Going Beyond Technology

Last month we featured an article from 6th-grade language arts teacher Bill Ferriter who wrote about the importance of good old-fashioned teaching in getting kids motivated. Ferriter wrote that while kids initially love tech-inspired lessons in schools, the novelty of it all wears off “a lot quicker than digital cheerleaders like to admit.”

While we are an education technology blog, we do like to consistently remind our readers about the crucial role teachers play in the classroom and how no digital tool, no matter how innovative, can ever replace classic teacher/student interaction.

Today we’ll take a peek at an article on Practical Theory: A View From the Schoolhouse, the personal blog of Chris Lehmann who is the founding principle of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. The SLA is a 1:1 laptop school recognized as a pioneer of the “School 2.0” movement.

In Lehmann’s recent article, “The Seductive Allure of Edu-Tech Reform,” he writes:

“… teaching is so much more than quizzes, lectures and data collection. And the promise of technology isn’t that it can automate the rote tasks of teaching—in the end that’s low hanging fruit. The promise of technology is rather the way that it can allow teachers and students to work together to do more, create more, research more broadly, share more widely, learn more deeply.”

Earlier in the summer, Lehmann wrote a post titled simply “Personalization” about how much of a slippery slope it is to consider the usage many educational technology tools a personal experience.

“We should be careful about how we use that term, and we should be very skeptical of how well computerized programs can really personalize for kids. Most of what I see—especially from curriculum and assessment vendors—involves personalization of pace while still maintaining standardization of content. That’s not good enough.”

Lehmann is an interesting thinker who is deeply involved in the education technology scene. Head over to his blog to check out more of his articles.