Recent decision to give teachers new technological devices lacks needed flexibility
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The school board recently decided to supply teachers with new technology, giving them the options of receiving a Chromebook, iPad or convertible laptop for use in the classroom. This decision should benefit many teachers and classes. However, some instructors are still opposed or reluctant to accept this change, which begs the question of whether this forced conversion is the wisest use of the school’s budget.
Overall, updating and improving the school’s technology is a move in a positive direction. Since the three device options are all portable, teachers will be able to move around the room instead of being confined to the computers at their desks. In a 2013 survey by PBS, 68 percent of teachers said they would like more technology in the classroom. The survey also found the majority of instructors said technology helps them to expand on content. An extra screen can be a powerful tool.
Of course, even the nicest device is only as useful as one chooses to make it. Not all CHS teachers are desirous of more technology, and this change should not be forced on them. Teachers who are content with using the currently available computer labs and laptops should not have to choose and receive a new device they do not plan to use. The teachers should have been given a choice on, since it has the potential to alter the way they lead their classes.
Having a choice would also have prevented the school board from spending money on devices teachers may not use in the classroom. Rather than being tossed down the drain, that money could have been put toward more immediate needs in the school or to improve the technology CHS already has.
In the future, the school board should offer more options to teachers when implementing similar programs or policies, including the option to opt out of the change. Whether the topic is technology, curriculum or something entirely unrelated, teachers deserve to have options instead of having new policies forced on them and their students. Teachers know the needs of their classrooms best, and especially at a school like this one that already enjoys some of the highest performance scores in the state, administrators should trust those great teachers and give them the freedom of more choice. If those in charge of these decisions first evaluate the usefulness of the change and then open up the policy to allow for more options, CHS will be a happier place with much more logical programs and rules.