Almost all of technology workshops that I have attended share the same trait. They all present the “positives” of the technology in education. They talk about the wonders of the new technology and they show how to use it. These workshops are rose-colored glasses workshops. They do not talk about what might go wrong and they do not tell how to overcome these problems. For example, I have attended numerous workshops on 1-to-1 computing but no presenter has every talked about the problem of students surfing the web instead of doing their work. I observed a class where students had laptops; over 60% were surfing or playing online games instead of being on task. If the teacher had moved to the back of the class where he could have seen the laptop screens, he might have observed this mis-use of technology. Likewise, if the teacher had built-in accountability such as the students having to show him their concept maps fifteen minutes into the period, he could have detected who was doing class work and who was not. Likewise, if his assignment was a challenging one that was unique to his geographical area, the students could not have copied/slightly modified already existing concept maps.
We need to move from the rose-colored glasses presentations and workshops about technology-based learning to clear glasses presentations and workshops so that students see learning gains instead of their wasting valuable classroom learning time.
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.
Also, my book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.