Mane (CRIN 604)

         Digital tools in education

March 20, 2010

Larry Cuban: Oversold and Underused

Filed under: Larry Cuban,Technology integration — mepada @ 7:46 pm

In Larry Cuban’s Oversold and Underused, I found his viewpoints realistic yet a bit discouraging. He points out that that teachers who use computers for instruction do so infrequently and unimaginatively and also argues that Computers can be useful when teachers sufficiently understand the technology themselves, believe it will enhance learning, and have the power to shape their own curricula and that these conditions can’t be met without a broader and deeper commitment to public education.

To that effect I wanted to find out if we had in our area (and beyond) any such local commitment and teachers who actually have stepped out of the box to integrate effectively technology in their classroom.

These two reports, The Geddy Award Nomination for Berkeley Middle School, and 2008 Excellence in Technology Winners are proof that good things are happening in James City County and beyond in regards to creative and successful instructional technology approaches.

Berkeley Middle School:  “Two years ago, the school began purchasing additional laptop and desktop computers and document cameras at the request of its faculty members to allow the faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to integrate this technology into the classrooms in the hopes of expanding our efforts at differentiation and curriculum access.”

–          The teachers shared their innovative lessons with one another

–          They held monthly faculty meetings where faculty discussed how technology integration made instruction more authentic, vivid, and relevant, and how it brought students closer together in partnership with their teachers and one another in the classroom…

–          Innovations were seen in Civics and Economic (election campaign, stock market), English (poem project), Music (self-critique), German (proper pronunciation), After School tutoring programs, etc.

–          Community engagement was enhanced (V-Brick system)

–          They have become a greener and paperless facility (Starportal, electronic classroom materials, etc)

–          Training was provided to initially introduce the new technology and to share in ways in which they could integrate the technology into their classrooms.

–          Additional training was offered for  the wireless keyboards, the Interwrite pads, and the V-Brick system.

–          More:


WHRO 2008 Excellence in technology Winners:

Nicole Sneddon (Riverside Elementary) for example, facilitates (reading and writing) progress through student blogs, and bubble-map graphic organizers in Kidspiration.

Glenn VanHouten (Shelton Park Elementary School) “As a pioneer user of clay animation, he combines his love for history with digital multi-media.”

Mary Ann Hutchinson, Principal, (McIntosh Elementary School) introduces her students and teachers to distance learning, elementary computer labs, virtual field trips, teleconferencing, interactive whiteboards, and more.

Ron Trainum (Toano Middle School) uses PowerPoint and a WebQuest application to guide students through the process of designing their own fitness program with an evaluation rubric and approximately 60 hyperlinks in the presentation.

Anthony Vladu (Heritage High School) brought into the classroom podcasts, wikis, and blogs to increase student participation with greater attention to writing skills. “He uses TeenBiz to improve reading skills, and a web site to inform students and parents, to deliver quizzes, and PowerPoint reviews. He incorporates the Classroom Response System for immediate student feedback, and SmartBoards for creating maps and interactive lesson plans.”

Connie Pritchard (Independence Middle School) for example “worked with the 7th grade science team where students made a storyboard, created 3-5 minute movies, added text, titles, and credits, recorded narration and added background music. They used the movies in the presentation process to teach one another about biomes.”

Janet Kreider (First Colonial High School) “ …worked collaboratively with the Computer Information Systems and English 11 classes to create a unique connection of poetry that linked to designing a section of a quilt, initially electronically involving scanned images, digital photography, video images, streaming and downloadable images from the internet. Once converted to the final actual quilt, it will be donated to the St. Jude’s Research hospital.”

Stephanie Bourgeois, Principal (Crittenden Middle School) has promoted “math use of TI-Navigators, Movie Maker in Science and Social Studies, Band compositions in Finale Notepad, wiki and blog applications, magnet photography, multimedia product generation and establishment of a gaming club and curriculum.”


Terry Lyle, Principal (SECEP REACH Program) “Initiatives during her tenure include acquiring touch screen monitors, special switches and other AT hardware and software, use of data projectors and unitedstreaming™ content, use of video conferencing, bedside computers, and using the internet for residents to reach parents outside of the area.”



Larry Cuban would be pleasantly surprised and proud of these educators!