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Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 2006-05-21 17:11

From time to time we have talked about tools for teachers. A simple example may be the use of a pda to assist teachers in randomly calling on students in their classes to answer questions as this study from the University Florida suggests. There should be a number of other applications of this sort that might change the opportunity structure within classrooms.

Hui Soo Chae Says:
Thu, 2006-05-25 00:52

Any tool that can help teachers to be more conscious of their own gender, racial, and ability biases in the classroom is useful. At the same time, the use of a “hand-held computer that randomly chooses whom to call on” seems like the lesser interesting use of technology in the classroom. What if we gave all the students in the class a PDA or a laptop to do their math, science, or history? How would that change the interactions in the classroom? Would students still need to be called on?  

Frank Webster Says:
Thu, 2006-05-25 09:03

Hui Soo and I may be thinking along the same lines.

When an earlier post challenged EdLab to design the virtual school room of the future, I immediately thought of a blank space equipped with the tools that would let each student contruct his/her own identity and classroom.

And let's add ageism and looksism to that list of barriers to be overcome.

Nobdy wants to call on that fat, ugly old guy in the back of the room. <ggggg>

Gary Natriello Says:
Sat, 2006-05-27 11:53

More Ambitious Tools for teachers are an important agenda item for the lab. The pda example is just a starting point, and a not very substantial tool. We seem to provide teachers with very limited tools for their work. So, let's develop some better ideas for a new generation of tools to teachers.