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Should our schools be technologically equal?

Original post made by Parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 29, 2008

Having read about the sound equalization technology at one of our elementary schools, and heard about the technology that will be provided in the classrooms for mandarin, I am wondering whether there is equal technology at all of our schools, regardless of level.

I know some of our kids do homework on line, study for tests by teacher provided power points, memory sticks being part of students every day school supplies, ipods and other gadgets for english classes and social studies classes, but I feel that there is inequality from school to school and class to class. I have one child doing Spanish in high school and the only high tech stuff he uses is the occasional video, I mean video not dvd. He can't even bring a video home because we got rid of our player. Back when I went to school, the language rooms were the most advanced and I can't believe now that they are the most behind, particularly in what I would imagine is the most popular language to learn here in California.

Should our schools have equitable technology, not only for each other here in Palo Alto, but in other cities in the State or other States in the country?

And, the second question is who should be paying for this? Should our PTAs be fundraising for technology and should this become a level playing field?

What do others think?

Comments (7)

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I am an early advocate of the "$100 laptop". I don't envy today's students the burden of their backpacks, and once education catches up with the possibilities I expect good results. Electronic monitoring can take attendance and track student movements. Electronic homework submission can save teacher eyestrain.

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Posted by trilingual
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 1, 2008 at 1:35 pm

A little off-topic, but since you mention it..I am appalled at the language lab experience ( lack of, really) of our foreign language students.

For goodness sake, they are limited to one hour per month in the lab from lack of space at Gunn. Who can learn a language without at least 15 minutes daily rehearsal and feedback?

Why can't there be language practice ONLINE through the schools?

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Posted by anonymous parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Some teachers incorporate technology into their classrooms, and we need to thank those teachers. Not all of them do it by any means. It should be encouraged. There are many forms this can take, everything doesn't cost money. Recently one teacher had his students do podcasts - sounded like a wonderful project. I believe all (if not virtually all) Math teachers at Paly post grades very promptly and this is so helpful to our students who are kept current.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2008 at 4:20 am

With laptops, there could be simultaneous translation of lesson materials.

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Posted by terryg
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 3, 2008 at 9:20 am

I believe that the bond measure (to be voted on in June) has a technology component so that the individual schools aren't dependant on their PTAs to raise funds for technology. That should bring some equity to the schools I would hope.

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Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Palo Alto parents really should stop complaining. Why don't you travel 5 minutes east to EPA and see what unequal technology really means.

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Posted by stop whining.
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2008 at 6:57 am

The equity lies not in the outcome, but in the opportunity.

Every school has the equal opportunity to raise funds for its students.

El Carmelo chose to use its donations in this manner.

Other schools could do the same

We are living in an area of million dollar "fixer uppers", even in the South Palo Alto areas.

Stop whining, and get to work raising your funds for your own school's sound system or whatever it is you think would be good for your school. That is what El Carmelo did. Somebody believed in this idea, and worked on it, and it got support from donations...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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