I found that the 2008 Progress Report on the Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020 was informative and useful. I found the results from the Speak Up 2007 survey were particularly interesting. Students across various grade levels felt that one of the barriers to using computers was a lack of availability. Children as young as kindergarten felt that they could learn better if they all had a computer. I also thought that it was interesting that high school and junior high students felt that filters and firewalls were a major obstacle to using technology. Students and teachers have faced this frustration at my school. We have made some progress and some of the restrictions have been lifted. I believe that instead of blocking everything, we need teach the students to use the Internet responsibly.
I was encouraged by the results of higher technology immersion schools. The results show that immersing students in technology is beneficial for students, teachers and parents. Students in technology immersed school show ownership and responsibility. Their academic achievement has improved. They receive more differentiated instruction. More people need to be aware of these benefits.
After reading the progress report, I find that there is even more evidence to support the use of technology in education. We can no longer deny the need to provide every student with a laptop. My school has been fortunate enough to be able to do this and our results seem to go along with the results for higher technology immersion schools. Students are using higher order thinking skills and creating amazing products using their laptops. Teachers are using online assignments and tests that are graded for them. Our school seems to be running more efficiently. There are still a lot of questions, concerns and areas to improve, however, we are moving forward. Our students will be more prepared to enter the real world.