professornana (professornana) wrote,

everything old is new again or is it?

We have been talking in our meetings lately about technology. Several months ago, we posted a survey asking current and former students to respond to some questions about 1:1 choices, apps that they find valuable, and PD they feel they need to move forward in terms of the tech side of school librarianship. The results of the survey are mixed, so we are dissecting the information we have and talking about the ramifications to not only the courses we offer but the PD we should be planning and conducting.

We talk often about apps and technology. And we download apps to our devices often to give them a test drive. What we see all too often is that the app is not what it is touted to be. Often, the app is simply a worksheet masquerading as something new because it is an app. Hey, look, here is an app (or program) that can determine comprehension by asking kids to complete a puzzle. Upon further inspection, this puzzle is a CLOZE passage. We joke often about developing a diorama app for kids whose teachers still believe this activity (or something else) needs to be in place so readers can prove they read books outside of class.

So much of what I see when I search and use apps are simply old ideas in new clothes. I think the phrase wolf in sheep's clothing works here because these apps do more to destroy tech than support it. Now, not all apps are the wolf in sheep's clothing. Some apps offer tech that is purposeful, simple to use, and appropriate for the concept or objective. And then there are some other apps, one in particular I will be blogging about shortly.

Here are the salient observations of this survey and of our discussion of our survey and other surveys that deal with tech:

1. Access to tech is still largely IN the school and not outside of school.
2. Schools adopting 1:1 are often selecting the tablet, laptop, smart device according to cost and not to which might be the best for their situation.
3. Educators do not feel that they have sufficient PD on tech, either apps or programs or even how to make the 1:1 system work.

There is more, and we will be discussing other pieces at future meetings.
Tags: apps, surveys, tech, tools
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