Educators told they need to keep up

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  • jr. high journeyman
    July 21, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    i have had all that training. came back to my school and had little of the tools much less the organizational support. learned that it became time intensive and student ancillary, set it aside. who's failing?? we have been patient. you're just now coming to this conclusion? send more media into the classroom. go into teaching yourself. stay optimistic. accentuate the positive. look where we have come from. don't dangle grants. institutionalize endowments. find a way to make a way out of noway. rome wasn't built in a day. :))

  • RoyAnn
    July 19, 2008 5:50 p.m.

    I love using and learning about new technology to enhance the learning in my classroom. I bought my own laptop so that I do not have to stay after hours to plan lessons (I do it in the comfort of my home), and I bought my own digital camera but I have to draw the line at buying my own SmartBoard. I can't afford it. So when the legislators start giving them away I will be first in line.

  • randy
    July 17, 2008 12:59 p.m.

    typical ... make rules and assignments but dont provide the tools and functional way to accomplish the task

    too bad .. merit based pay would have been a good one here ..

    dang ... wonder what else merit based pay cant be used in association with .. utah loves the standard and then doesnt provide the means to accomplish it

  • Anonymous
    July 16, 2008 6:12 p.m.

    Mr. Stephenson,

    Which of the products you are wanting to put in the classrooms are being supplied by your family and/or friends? Are you getting a kickback? I ask because your funding of "technology" in the classroom is to out $12 million towards textbook software, without hardware, training, or technical support. When asked about where the money for those items was to come from you said, "The districts will have to find the money in their budgets. Maybe they will have to raise taxes to do it." What good is software if we cannot use it in the schools because of outdated hardware?

    Mr. Stephenson, before you start to whine about teachers lack of technology use, please step into a CLASSROOM, not just a school, but an actual classroom. When you are invited to schools or PTA meetings to learn about what makes that school great, please take the time to observe classes in progress. When you were invited to one school in your area, you spent the entire observation time in the hall on your cell phone. Maybe if you spend time in the classes you wouldn't put your foot in your mouth.

  • Dear Mr. Stephenson
    July 15, 2008 12:26 p.m.

    Like most teachers we would love to use technology if it wasn't obsolete by the time we got it or if we had some technology (late 20th or early 21st Century) in the first place. But I still got my chalk board (and plenty of chalk), and a desk top computer (from the late 1990's). Our computer lab isn't much better and 100 or so teachers fight to use some 75 machines, which are also out of date.

    I'm sorry for whining "educrat fools" but maybe he can step inside a classroom (and bring those two other guys with you). Many, many teachers are actually well-versed in technology, and again most of us (not all of us I admit) are willing to learn how to better incorporate it in the classroom. But again, actually either having some amount of modern technology is the real problem.

    However, I'm also agreement that technology in itself isn't really the answer to the panacea of problems in public education. Family life and teaching at the home supercedes anything, and the next best thing is a happy, motivated teacher. Both will be infintely better than a laptop, tv set or a whiteboard--any day!!!

  • Teaching with Tech
    July 15, 2008 10:49 a.m.

    With a trained educator teaching in a technology rich environment, students can have extremely valuable experiences.

    If you put technology in a classroom because it's the "thing to do" and don't provide training (or don't have teachers who want it) you will, at best, see the creation of very expensive online worksheets for students to fill in.

    Training is at least as important as the technology and probably more expensive. Support groups are growing among educators in districts and schools where people are getting the chance to have both hardware and training. Teachers who try, or are forced, to work in isolation generally don't do as well as those who are trained and can work together.

    I've been using and training others to use technology in teaching for over 20 years. It makes a measurable difference to students when used well. Training is what ensures that it gets used well. Training costs money. Computers and other hardware have high price tags, especially considering upkeep and replacement. They are worth it if everything is funded.

    Put your money where your mouth is Mr. Stephenson.

  • Techno Boots on the Ground
    July 15, 2008 12:05 a.m.

    Sen. Stephenson, step into my high school.

    I'm thrilled at the whiteboard on my front wall. It's been there 1-1/2 years. (It only took five years of begging to get it.)

    The science classrooms down the hall were just remodeled and each room has a ceiling mounted projector system. My Language Arts classroom has fairly new carpet.

    "Select" teachers have portable microphone systems and speakers in their rooms. I wasn't selected.

    "Chosen" instructors have LCD projectors. They were given as surplus technology to those who responded first to the principal's email. I wasn't first.

    I guess I need faster email, a naturally quiet voice, a major in a different academic discipline, or simply more time on my knees begging to get the technology I crave that you insist I fear and resist.

    Heaven forbid this come across as whining. I just want to meet your mandate.

    I heard somewhere that nothing causes more stress or lower morale in the workforce than having upper management impose uninformed, unrealistic goals and measurements and then not provide the training, resources, or means to achieve them.

    Welcome to my world.

  • the funding is unequal
    July 14, 2008 9:31 a.m.

    At my school, some teachers have LCD projectors and smartboards, and other teachers have nothing. The funding is not equal.

  • trainer
    July 14, 2008 7:44 a.m.

    I train on technology for teachers. The comments about funding are spot on (for tech and training). The comment about not being able to read because of not having computers or needing the reading, writing and math basics not technology because they know that already...those comments are the problem because THAT is how kids learn. If they can teach themselves to use their iPhones, iPods, facebook etc...imagine giving them the basics in a way they love to learn! There would be no stopping them.

  • Educrat fools
    July 13, 2008 9:36 p.m.

    What arrogance from the "teachers" on this comment board. "Greg Hughes doesn't even have a college degree" what ARROGANCE, what a hollier than thou attitude. I bet Mr. Hughes has taken what he knows and has turned it into far more than what you as a educrat will ever make. Also, quit whining! Please? Nothing bothers me more than whiny, do nothing teachers.

  • Bitter man
    July 13, 2008 5:58 p.m.

    Howard got cut from the school basketball team when he was a kid and now is getting back at schools.

  • Educator
    July 13, 2008 5:49 p.m.

    I completely agree with Educrat. Stephenson is from my district (don't blame me or any of the other intelligent critical thinkers in Draper - we are a minority here after all!) and he has yet to step foot inside a public school to see how woefully underfunded we are. He and Greg Hughes (who doesn't even have a college degree) will blame public ed teachers for all the problems instead of supporting our schools the way the rest of America does. Mark my words: Stephenson and his kind are out to destroy public ed in Utah so the only choices our kids will have will be charter schools (run by housewives and men without degrees like Huges) or private schools. VOTE THEM OUT if you want your children to have what the rest of American kids get: well-funed education so technology and training for the teachers are part of EVERY child's education!

  • Educrat
    July 13, 2008 1:23 p.m.


    Put the money where your mouth is or step aside. We educators want technology in our classrooms that is current and functional. But your woeful funding barely is enough to keep the power on and sharpened pencils at each desk. We also want a representative with a little credibility in the education establishment to head up the education committee for the legislature than such a charlatan who at his core is anti-education.

  • Out of touch legislature
    July 13, 2008 12:48 p.m.

    Bob, of all people, teachers are the most aware of the importance of technology in student's lives. We see it every day in the classroom with i-pods, cell phones, digital cameras, talk of My Space and Face Book. As teachers we try to keep up with the every changing need for more engaging instruction that will hold a student's interest, yet effectively teach them. I'm 38 years old and have worked as a teacher for 15 years, and I'm still leaps and bounds ahead of my students in technological knowledge. The problem in schools is that they aren't given the funding to keep up with technological advancements. For instance, many students are using the new Microsoft Suite to create Power Point projects, yet when they bring their assignments to their teachers on a flash drive, teachers can't open the file because of outdated software. I have worked IT for computer companies, so I'm pretty savvy and know how to download and install a file converter from Microsoft, but a teacher shouldn't have to waste time downloading and installing programs. They need to be given the tools to do their jobs. That is the way private industry works.

  • Bob
    July 13, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    Good teaching requires teachers know their students aptitudes and environment and build on that. Most kids are very tech savvy, and they didn't learn it from their teacher.

    Students need to know the basics of math, grammar, history and reading, and that can be learned without expensive and rapidly obsolete technology.

    They also need to know physical education (yes, "know") and how to take care of their health.

    Technology is also an increasingly important part of their lives, and something that their teachers must learn as adults if they are to stay revelant in their profession.

    An education without technology is not complete, but since technology becomes obsolete so quickly, the process of learning technology is actually more important than the current technology itself.

  • Out of touch Legislature
    July 13, 2008 10:41 a.m.

    Perhaps legislators need to talk to teachers. Most teachers are ready to go with technology, but money is not given to outfit classrooms with technology. I spent three years writing grants just to get an LCD projector in my classroom. The network connection at my school is painfully slow, with the network being down a lot of the time. If you want a smart board or computers for your classroom, you better apply for lots of grants, because Stephenson, Sumsion, or the legislature isn't going to pay for it, and the public doesn't want their taxes to go up to pay for updating technology in schools. Heavens, we even have to fight for textbooks and supplies in our school. My brother teaches school out of state and every classroom is outfitted with computers, LCD projectors, and Promethean Smart boards and every teacher uses them because it is available to them. I can't understand why the political leaders in this state continue to place the blame on teachers for things that are out of their control. It is an absolute absurdity and travesty, and I hope the public doesn't believe this political garbage.

  • Middle School Teacher
    July 13, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    I agree completely that teachers need to stay up on technology. The bigger issue, however, isn't training. Its making that technology available to the teachers. The resources need to be provided for working technology in every school. Smart boards, document cameras, LCD projectors are awesome tools to help kids learn--but useless if you don't have them in your classroom.

  • Anonymous
    July 13, 2008 10:00 a.m.

    Oh, so that's why grade-schoolers can't read! They need more computer access!


  • Ranae Durfee
    July 13, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    I am a teacher and taught for 5 years in Arizona before moving to Utah last year. I would love to have more technology in my classroom. The problem I am having is getting the technology. The funding is just not there, or is not used to place technology in classrooms. In my school in Arizona I used a smartboard, document camera and other technologies. I used these daily. The school district I worked for was committed to getting technology into classrooms, and they provided adequate training for us to use it. While I'm sure there are some teachers that are reluctant to adopt it, I for one would love it. Let's work on getting some funding directed toward technology.

  • Bob G
    July 13, 2008 5:21 a.m.

    These technology class rooms have and are proving to be failures in education and its a shame. Students aren't learning the basic maths, reading, writing, and sciences with very basic tools. To understand higher technology they need to have an understanding of basic 1+1=2. They need to know how this adds up using thier own brain power and not letting a computer spew out the numbers as if by magic. To teach the basics all they need is a pencil and paper, not an expensive multimillion dollar computer system. Test an educator using a simple pencil and paper test, this will tell you whether they know the basics themselves. Unless a student is home educated there is no reason to send education to home computers, that may or may not be accessible. Technical training and studies are for higher education, not in basic learning. Keep business needs out of education so students can learn how to manage their personal lives first. Our education system is for education and understanding the how's and why's, not training brain dead future employees for business. Technology has its limits and it doesn't belong on the students desk.

  • Utah teacher
    July 13, 2008 3:44 a.m.

    Once again Stephenson can't help but put teachers down.

    Just to let him know...

    I'm not afraid of technology. I even went so far as to get a masters degree in instructional technology. Have I used any of the knowledge I gained. Yes. I have used it in my teaching? Some but not enough and not because of my choice.

    You see Mr. Stephenson, we have to have hardware in the schools in order to use it. Unfortunately our school of over 1,000 shares one computer lab. 32 computers available in the school lab connected to the library. I often have 35 kids per class!!!

    Seems our legislators have failed us again.

    Oh yeah they did approve that $3,500,000 for preschoolers to get software!


    I have been teaching 16 years and have yet to see a teacher that didn't wan't more technology in their classroom.

    Stop making stupid blanket statements about our teachers and actually do something to solve the problem.

    By the way, I'm using technology right now without any fear! Amazing!

  • Left out budgets
    July 13, 2008 1:30 a.m.

    Utah has a terrible record of spending per child. Funny how the legislature talks big but wont back up the talk with money.