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!