Edtech: Capitol Hill’s Buzz Word?

No More Textbooks

Is educational technology Capitol Hill’s latest buzz word? Three current events appear to suggest that politicians are aiming to revolutionize the educational system through technology. Probably the most famous news item was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to reduce the California budget by replacing textbooks with e-books. Grumble, grumble you may… “This decision only impacts California!” However, soon other states across the country will see the sense and savings of this decision. This means that as educators we will have to learn how to read and work with e-books. If you have not tried to read an e-book, I recommend you try. As a digital immigrant, this may prove to be a difficult task. Hopefully by the time this policy is enacted, e-book readers like the Kindle will be more affordable or given to teachers! Now receiving a Kindle would definitely encourage teachers to integrate technology in their lessons!


Contending with Schwarzenegger is Governor Bill Ritter’s announcement to propose policies that implement the use of Ipods and other technologies in the classroom. This means educators at minimum will need to know how to create podcasts. Moreover, teachers will need to develop lesson plans which effectively use podcasts to meet the learning needs of their students. Wesley Fryer provides a thorough list of various classroom podcasts to help get you started!

On Capitol Hill

This past week, a middle school science teacher demonstrated on Capitol Hill the use of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) for educational purposes. During her presentation, Lisa Short pointed out that in the UK, 7 out of 10 schools use IWBs. Several of the members seemed to agree with Short asserting that students will need to know how to use several technologies for their future careers. See a video of her presentation below. You may also want to check out Johnny Chung Lee’s information on building a cheap IWB for your classroom!

Your boot camp challenge for this week:

Develop a few manageable goals and plans to improve your knowledge of several educational technologies. Your  Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a wonderful place to receive encouragement to reach these goals. If you are at a lost on where to begin to learn to use new technologies, then read my previous post on free professional development opportunities offered this summer! Soon I will post more!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *