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Will Technology Save Public Education? Answering Dr. Jim Taylor

I read Dr. Jim Taylor’s editorial in the Huffington Post this morning, entitled Will Technology Save Public Education? | Dr. Jim Taylor. For whatever reason, I couldn’t post a comment on the Huffington Post site, so here it is:

The problems of the disadvantaged are too deep to be addressed only in the public schools. But your bias against “knee-jerk” technology answers shows a lack of understanding. Perhaps you haven’t watched well-applied technology in action in the ESL Reading classroom. I have.

In one year of technology-based instruction, most of my middle grade English Language Learners rose, on average, 2 or more grade levels as revealed by their Lexile scores. Some students raised their scores significantly beyond that. This happened year after year. This isn’t true only for the ESL classroom, of course. All children sitting in our Title I schools, regardless of their home language or skin color, benefit from mastering technology at school.

Yes, teachers are the most important part of the education equation, but technology can boost teacher “productivity” and help students achieve consistent, measurable gains.

Granted, little Juan and Kim won’t be able to read on the same level as their more affluent peers right away, but they can progress at a much greater pace when they have access to iterative, individualized instruction (the strength of educational software) that NO teacher, no matter how “super,” can supply in a crowded classroom.

And for those whose simple answer is “they [English Language Learners] shouldn’t move here in the first place,” those children ARE here and aren’t going anywhere. We can choose, as a nation, to let all those eager learners wither on the vine or to raise their potential to become productive citizens. We need technology to do that.

I’d be interested to hear the stories of other teachers in the trenches. What’s your experience with technology in the classroom and how can we use it to better advantage?

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Teachers and Textbooks, Kindle Paperwhite, #edtech Pinterest Boards

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In the Houston area where I live, there doesn’t seem to be much to celebrate in the world of public education: a major budget crisis, staffing cuts, and record unemployment.  However, I would like to acknowledge the teachers who are on the front lines this year, regardless of where they work.  Teaching is the hardest […]

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About the Author

Kathrese McKee started life as a Systems Engineer at EDS, spent time in real estate, taught middle grade Reading and ESL in Texas, and settled down to blog and write speculative fiction for Young Adults.

As a teacher, she fell in love with books written for Teens and Young Adults. Her favorite books are “coming of age” stories about young people on the difficult road of self-discovery.


  1. I hope you try again to post your comment on the Huffington site. They need to hear.
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  2. Profound Piece of writing
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