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SCHOOL-IT  April 2005

SCHOOL-IT April 2005

Subject:

Re: The role of K-12 education (was: desktop computers)

From:

Vince Rossano <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 14 Apr 2005 08:28:12 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (115 lines)

Bjorn, Bjorn! You're taking this all far too personally. My "attacks"
were meant good-naturedly.

Look, many of your points are well taken, but we are talking past each
other. What's involved here is stuff that deals with the very nature of
our role as educators. Many of us, as you've seen, have deeply held
philosophical beliefs around this issue. You've aroused some intense
responses not because you're position is ridiculous, but rather because
it is widely held by intelligent people - and strongly opposed by other
intelligent people. But, at this juncture, the direction we're headed
in this discussion will only further polarize us.

If I, among others, have seemed dismissive of your remarks, I
apologize; though I disagree with you, your remarks have been helpful
in provoking thought about this important topic. But I think I'll back
off for now. Perhaps we need to call a moratorium on this subject.

-Vince

Vincent Rossano
Information Technology Director
Montpelier Public Schools
58 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

802-225-8690
[log in to unmask]

>>> [log in to unmask] 4/14/2005 8:00:03 AM >>>
Rather than personal attacks on sentence structure, let's debate the
facts,
unless of course there are no facts to support so personal attacks are
all
that's left... First, let's look at ourselves. How many of us in K-12
has
held a technology job in the private sector the last five or ten years
to
really know what's going on? How many have even spent any decent amount
of
time time with private organizations to learn more about technology as
it
exists outside of K-12? How many of us would even qualify for a
technology
job in the private sector? Very few because their standards are too
high.
Second, if we already try to teach technology, let's do it right, for
example MS Office. Why can't we just raise standards and provide
students
opportunities for MOS certification so they graduate with some evidence
of
technology proficiency? Why only teach MS Office half way? Simply
because K-
12 generally lacks qualified personnell to do it. How many people
involved
in K-12 technology (computer applications teachers, educational
technology
specialists, tech. support, network people, etc.) have any tangible
evidence validating that they themselves are actually qualified to do
their
job? To be qualified to teach MS Office in the real world generally
requires MOS certifications and even a Microsoft Master Instructor
certifications. How many such are there in Vermont K-12? Only one
according
to Microsoft. So, according to Microsoft, only one K-12 educator in
the
entire state of VT is qualified to teach their Office products
according to
their standards. If we are trying to teach computer literacy, why don't
we
adopt IC3? Because most K-12 people have no clue what it is because of
our
isolation from the real world! Next, being qualified as a Network
Engineer
in the real world (the network and tech. support side in K-12), an
MCSE,
A+, Cisco, and some other certifications are required. In K-12, A+ is
required at best, and oftentimes not even that. Yesterday, I read an
article in the "Wall Street Journal," and one sentence reads: "Experts
cite
a variety of other reasons for the U.S.'s engineer shortage, including
poor
math and science curricula in public schools." We can certainly add
technology to this. We can try to defend our K-12 failures all we want,
but
is is not going to help our students succeed. Once I have been in K-12
long
enough, perhaps I too will accept faliure as the norm and try to defend
it
to the teeth. Until then, my goal is to help students prepare for life
after high school by raising standards and providing opportunites they
need
to succeed. We do need burger flippers (we have to ensure that we
provide
the junk food and supersizings of it to continue the growing problem
of
obesity), but let's not do that to expese of our children. Let's look
at VT
K-12 as a whole. How many Vermont K-12 schools get any national
recognition
for progressive technology programs? Virtually none. Other than the
outstanding opportunities provided by South Burlington (Networking
Academy
and Imaging Lab) Vermont is not even a parenthesis on the national
K-12
technology stage. The only reason SB is able to provide these awesome
opportunites is that they are fortunate to have a couple of highly
qualified, visionary, and innovative faculty running these programs,
something many K-12 schools unfortunately do not have. Just answer
this,
how is K-12 holding ourselves accountable in technology? What tangible
evidence do we have proving that students graduate from HS with
technology
proficiencies? The answer is no accountability and evidence
whatsoever.

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