Schools always have limited resources. Even when they get a big grant or the community approves a technology referendum, there’s never enough money to go around. It seems to me that schools have a couple of general approaches that they can take…
Option 1 – Spread the money widely across the organization. Try and get as much hardware and software as possible, even if this means little or no staff development.
Option 2 – Identify strategic investments. Spend only in certain places within the organization and invest deeply in staff development to ensure that those projects are successful.
Obviously there’s a continuum here – this is not necessarily an either-or choice. That said, why does it seem like most school organizations almost always pick Option 1? Does anyone think this strategy is working?
Because it’s much easier for school leaders and policymakers to justify giving a little bit to everyone. Also, most educators view “equity” from an “outcomes” perspective rather than a “process” perspective. That is, from a distributive justice perspective, in education there tends to be more concern over who has what than how folks got what they got. For me, that’s all highly problematic. If “technology” is a limited resource, we need to think about ways to get it in the hands of not only those who “need” it, but also those who are most planful/thoughtful about how those resources will be used.
I may have more to say about this during my guest blogging stint, but Scott’s post touched a raw nerve of mine. Gee, thanks Scott!
If we actually want technology to be used well in schools (as opposed to just being able to point to equipment to satisfy parents that we have something), it seems to me that different, targeted, strategic approaches would be worthwhile!