Goodbye, Mr. Chips

From The Washington Post today, an opinion from Patrick Welsh: A School That’s Too High on Gizmos.

Welsh teaches at T. C. Williams high school in Alexandria, Virginia. He’s concerned about what a former school administrator calls technolust — the tendency (as Welsh sees it) for the school to apply technology for technology’s sake.

The Magna DoodleHe mentions a $495 device called a school pad, which allows a teacher anywhere in a classroom to underline an image projected by the room’s LCD. This pad reminded one teacher of “the Magna Doodle pads we had as kids.”

Welsh talks about other technological problems — student laptops that can’t connect to the school’s wireless network, for example.

I suspect there’s a midpoint between technolust and teacher inertia. And I wonder whether Welsh or his colleagues are exploring ways to harness blogs, wikis, or other collaborative tools to foster learning. I think I’ll drop him a line and ask.