The Ottumwa Courier

Education

August 14, 2013

Tech and trust not the same in education

(Continued)

But how do you prepare students to use new tools while still ensuring their basic skills are solid?

For Joel Pedersen, superintendent of the Cardinal school district, balance is key. The district has clearly embraced technology, becoming one of the first in Iowa to issue every student in middle school and high school a laptop. That changed in 2012 to the Kuno tablets, and the district introduced a mobile app the same year.

This past spring, Cardinal students used Skype to talk live with an orphanage in Uganda. They spent a half-hour talking to people on a different continent eight hours ahead of southeast Iowa.

“We really feel like technology in some regards prepares students for the 21st-century skills that we need,” said Pedersen. “But technology cannot take the place of quality instruction.”

For Cardinal, the tablet blended those approaches better than other options. It allowed students to use software that was aimed at their education while screening other content out. There's another advantage as well, since it can help with students managing their assignments.

Technology can be a generational issue with younger people generally more willing to take on the challenge of mastering something new. That poses an additional hurdle for schools, which may have teachers with decades of experience in everything but technology.

Pedersen said that's where the district's leadership has to step up. Providing people with the tools doesn't mean much unless you are also willing to give people the chance to learn how to use them.

“The leadership in the school has to embrace technology. They have to be sure support is available,” he said. He added that even the support means little if the district isn't willing to ensure it is used.

For a lot of people, that's part of the concern. There's a limit to the trust given technology in schools. Everyone agrees it is necessary, but something interesting happens when you ask people about it: A clear distrust emerges. People fear schools are abandoning basic skills in a race for a technological edge.

Text Only
Education
  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0710 OTT Bulldogs update color photo -L -M High school students lead Bulldog charge

    OTTUMWA — Two Ottumwa High School students gave their very first press conference Wednesday morning to share their progress on decorating Ottumwa with large bulldog statues. Alyssa Cash and Madyson Feather joined Main Street Ottumwa Executive Directo

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0710 OTT Smart snacks color photo -M -L Schools adopt new food regulations

    OTTUMWA — This fall, students across the country will find big changes in the cafeteria, but Ottumwa kids may find they approve of the changes. The new "Smart Snacks in School" standards from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) went in

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survey finds math, science grads earn top dollar WASHINGTON (AP) — It seems to matter less whether your alma mater is public or private than what you study — math and science in particular — when it comes to finding a high-paying job after college, according to a report released Tuesday by the Educ

    July 8, 2014

  • Pekin and Tri-County to share superintendent PACKWOOD — Both Pekin and Tri-County Community School Districts have voted to approve Operational Sharing Incentives for superintendent during the 2014-15 school year. During the 2014 legislative session, the Legislature passed and the governor signe

    July 2, 2014

  • Teaching the teachers

    OTTUMWA — The community has formally advised the school district that strong teachers lead to strong students. Now Ottumwa teachers have "coaches" to help them boost educational muscle. Though the idea is now formalized under a Legislative state plan

    May 29, 2014

  • 0525 OTT OHS graduation web-color photo 3 OHS seniors say farewell OTTUMWA - Sunday marked the end of high school for all the graduating seniors from Ottumwa High School. Family and friends of the students packed the Bridge View Center, leaving standing room only for late-comers. You could feel the excitement in the

    May 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Slideshow: OHS graduation

    May 25, 2014

  • 0524 OTT OCS graduation web-color photo 3 Small ceremony for big achievements OTTUMWA - Saturday was a special day for the four seniors graduating from Ottumwa Christian School. This small graduating class is double the size of last year's class and illustrates the small-group learning style of the school. Family and friends o

    May 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Slideshow: Ottumwa Christian graduation

    May 24, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National