Tipping Point: Technology in education - KMSP-TV

Tipping Point: Technology in education

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Young individuals are masters of technology at home, and now, they're swiping their way through school too.

At the Chicago Public School Cesar Chavez Elementary, teachers face a challenge that is seen all over.

"If a teacher's got a classroom...has kids at a math level of a 1st grader all the way to a sixth grader in one classroom of 4th grade students, it's really difficult or challenging to have a teacher meet all of their needs," said Principal Barton Dassinger.

The nonprofit "Chicago Public Education Fund" gave the school money for computers and software that could be tailor-made for each student.

Seventh grader Damani Lozano is calculating his improvement in math.

"I can stay up to speed with the eighth graders, and what math they do,” said Lozano.

The Chicago Private School St. Ignatius College Prep requires every student to have an iPad.

The tablets have turned some of the lesson planning inside out. One teacher records her lectures in advance and students watch them first at home.

This ultimately leaves more time for in-class problem-solving and discussion.

"Then she could find who's struggling, who understands this, how they could help one another," said Father Michael Caruso, President of St. Ignatius College Prep.

"I for one - like them - because I think they're more convenient," said Corina Perez, a senior student. "It's actually much better than using these 10 pound textbooks, but I actually kinda miss just having a book that you can open. It’s not the same.”

The criticism is there. Technology, just for the sake of technology, could short circuit the fundamentals of education.

"It’s really important to remember that an iPad doesn't replace a teacher,” said Heather Anichini of the Chicago Public Education Fund.

Anichini said we have to be sensitive to the potential pitfalls, but open to the advantages technology can bring.

“I think it would be shortsighted not to acknowledge that technology is a tool that we use in every other place in our world today and it's one that belongs in our classrooms - when it's used with fidelity and with care,” added Anichini.

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