Magazine article Technology & Learning

The Long Review

Magazine article Technology & Learning

The Long Review

Article excerpt

Too often, reviews of edtech fall short of reality. Sure, speeds and feeds are important to consider, but how does this stuff work in the real world? T&L will try to answer that question this school year, when our editors follow the stakeholders at Village charter School in Trenton as they implement Pearson's SuccessMaker software on a 40-seat Dell Pc desktop network.

* THIS MONTH: CURRICULUM AND SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: THE REALITIES OF MIXING TECHNOLOGY WITH PEDAGOGY

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Six months have passed in our Long Review process, and the staff and students at Village are fully immersed in the Pearson program. Students attend SuccessMaker labs with greater regularity than they do gym or art class. Teachers share printouts of student scores along with report cards during parent-teacher conferences. Even parents chat in the pickup line after school about how their kids are doing.

The consensus? Cautious optimism. "We're pleased with the program. It has become part of our culture," says Leigh Byron, Village's head of school. "The teachers have adapted very well to integrating the program into their day-to-day lessons." It took about two months for the gears to really start to mesh, Byron says. "It was going into November and December when we could see the program was taking hold. It always takes a little while to get going."

The biggest benefit administrators and teachers have found is the ability to drill down and analyze students individually. …

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