Important Ed Tech Book Reviews

Just in Time Technology


 From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 10|No 8|May|2001

Technology in Its Place:

A Review

To review the Table of Contents, read the Preface or order this book, click here.

© 2001, John F. LeBaron and Catherine Collier, Editors
Published by Jossey-Bass ISBN 0-7879-5682-1

Reviewed by Jamie McKenzie
About the Author

John LeBaron and Catherine Collier have collected excellent essays written by some perceptive thinkers, all exploring fundamental questions about wise uses of new technologies in schools.

The lead chapter by school librarian, Debbie Abilock, is one of my favorites, in part because Debbie was one of the first grounded thinkers I encountered back in 19994-5 when I was looking for schools that had adopted Internet policies. Her work at Nueva School was exemplary and illuminating. She was early, but more importantly, her approach was grounded in literacy and learning. While much of the world was concentrating on wiring, she was looking at thinking and exploring.

In her chapter, "Using Technology to Enhance Student Inquiry," Abilock describes an approach to launching student investigations that is deep but practical:

In problem based learning, students are confronted with ill-structured problems that mirror an authentic situation. It is important for them to recognize that just as in real-world problems, there are no simple right and wrong answers. (Page 4)

Abilock goes on to outline the key elements of a research process and give concrete examples of student research projects. It is worth noting that Abilock's chapter comes first in this collection. Student learning is the priority throughout the collection.

Following this initial chapter on inquiry, LeBaron outlines a curriculum planning process, Collier summarizes promising staff development strategies. And other authors address issues such as urban education and the role of the principal in leading a successful technology program. There are chapters on building public support, forming corporate partnerships and using technology appropriately.

This is a rich collection that will prove illuminating for any team planning to put the horse before the technology cart.

To review the Table of Contents, read the Preface
or order this book, click here.

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