Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Opus 2015-259: Discernment Watch: Technology Is Not the Answer

Technology and scientific magic have become the panacea for all our problems.   We wait for the breakthrough in clean energy.  We hear about miracle drugs.  There is a rumor about a treatment that will let you eat as much as you want and not get fat.  We have the same expectations in education.

Teachers think that technology will make learning fun and easy, thus fooling lazy, unmotivated students into being educated.  Parents are using it as an excuse for student failure.

Many school districts have software available that makes it possible for parents to enter the database of the school and check on how their children are doing.  Let’s call it the Guardian Gateway.  Parents set up an account, get a password and can access all of their children’s schoolwork, how it was graded and what the current grade is.  In theory it is a beautiful concept.  In reality it is just another smokescreen for the child and his parents to hide behind.

One problem is the teacher entering the data.  I give up to four grades in a day for each student.  Last year I had about 160 students.  Can you picture how much time would be involved for me to enter that information each day so that parents can see how their child is doing?  It isn’t going to happen.  I have yet to go to a meeting where teachers who claim to use the system have all the information entered.  “Oh, I have not graded that yet” is a common comment.  “I am really behind in putting that in the computer” is a good one too.  And of course we can always hide behind the fact that IT has taken the site off line for some reason.

When presented with the information it is usually meaningless.  I have seen the printouts that teachers hand to parents.  Unless you work with it every day, you can’t figure out what all the lines and columns mean.  You have all experienced it when someone gives you a complicated chart or graph.  That is why we give simple grades.

Another problem is that the parents don’t really bother to check.  They talk a good game but when it comes down to it, they don’t do it.  They just want it available.  That way they have another good excuse to blame the teacher for not doing the job.  I have witnessed parents claiming that certain information is not there when it is. 

Let me share a few technological concepts:  Technology is wonderful, when it works.  GIGO.  The simpler it is the less flexibility it has.  Computers are stupid.  Most teachers can not make their voice mail work.  If the geeks were really good they would make twice as much working in the private sector.

Technology can be important and useful.  It might help us as the question but it is not the answer.

homo unius libri

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