As I mentioned in my last post, I recently spent a few days at the ISTE conference. The most obvious aspect of the conference was that we have arrived at a point when technology is part of our schools. Students and teachers are using laptops, interactive whiteboards, cell phones, and other devices on a daily basis.
One of the sessions I attended gave an overview of a 2012 survey called Speak Up
, by the group Project Tomorrow
. For the past ten years, this organization has been gathering information about the use of technology in education.
You can read the details of their findings on their website, but a couple of statistics stick with me. Six percent of students surveyed have no online access at home. That number was the same in the first survey, conducted in 2003, as it was in 2012.
Some schools have excellent technology and district-wide online access. Others are limited by filters and rules. And according to the survey, only “15% of school districts… say that they have enough bandwidth capacity to support their instructional needs.”
So I’m thinking about accessibility. We’re still printing books, of course, in addition to the digital files we make available for a wide variety of e-reading devices. But some things have changed. For example, Lerner used to print paper teaching guides for many of our nonfiction series. We’ve moved those teaching guides to an online format. PDFs are now freely downloadable from our website.
We try to make our teaching guides open to both educators who use technology in the classroom and those who don’t. Is your class studying flight? Check out our Lightning Bolt Books: How Flight Works series. Then download the teaching guide from our website, and check out the lesson ideas we offer.
Educators might print hard copies of a reproducible or they might show it on an interactive whiteboard. Students may go outside to investigate the things that fly in their own neighborhood. They could track their data on paper or on mobile devices. Or maybe they will stay inside and analyze images of early planes at the Library of Congress.
How do you use technology with Lerner books
? Let us know! We want to make the products you need and use.