Technology – the Squirrel on the Hill

Alpine School District board member Brian Halladay just posted this on his Facebook page and I had to share it here. This is a great reason why Utah should NOT pass HB 131 (public education modernization act)  to put an iPad in every students’ hands.



Technology is the new squirrel up on the hill. Everyone is chasing it. It’s fun. It’s cool. All in the name of what’s best for kids.

Let’s look down the road. What happens when the new technology students get now gets outdated in 3 years? 3 years ago the IPad was just invented. Three years before that the Ipod Touch came out. What if we had Ipod Touch’s in all our schools? These would be considered outdated by today’s standards.

With education, there is a place for technology, but as with many things, a balance is needed. What if instead of placing an Ipad or laptop in every student’s lap, we were to fund a technology class where the most innovative technologies were taught and used, and updated annually?

Technology can never be given more emphasis than the teacher in the classroom. Students need personal interaction.. Siri doesn’t cut it. Teachers should be given the resources and technology to provide the best learning in the classroom, then teach their students to the best of their ability. Let’s stop chasing the squirrel, and, instead focus on giving teachers the resources they need to inspire today’s students.

5 thoughts on “Technology – the Squirrel on the Hill”

  1. Wonderful analogy, Brian Halladay! Dr. Moore of Hillsdale College agrees with your sentiments. He wrote: “Computers are a lot more like televisions than anyone is willing to admit… it is true that art teachers can now much more easily show their classes great paintings and sculptures by using the internet. It is likewise true that history teachers can employ actual speeches of Churchill or Reagan using videos found on the web. Ninety percent of the time, though, that is not how the computer is being used… The arch-testers of the Common Core champion the use of the technological elixir that cures all illnesses and heals all wounds without even pausing to warn us of the potential side effects… we are not invited to consider how much technology is compromising the old literacy.” – Read his book: The Storykillers: A Common Sense Case Against Common Core.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. We need to pay good teachers more, and get rid of teachers that are not effective in the classroom – I am not talking about test scores, though they do give us some information – I am speaking of teachers that do not know how to engage their students to learn how to learn, think, question, create and explore new thoughts and ideas with excellence and mastery.

  3. I’m so glad I’m not the only parent that believes this is a bad idea. Our kids get enough technology time outside the classroom, they don’t need it increased inside the classroom, especially at the Elementary school level. In fact, it seems that whenever I pass the computer lab at my childrens’ school, the kids are playing games on the computers. How are students suppose to concentrate on teacher instructions with these gadgets in front them? How are teachers suppose to track which students are actually using the ipad for the purpose intended?

  4. While the iPads become obsolete in 1-2 years, the Common Core content loaded on the iPads is licensed only for 3 years. So not only will we be buying new devices on a regular basis, but we will also be paying to relicense the Common Core content for the devices every 3 years. We don’t need the iPads or the Common Core content. We don’t need to be supporting Apple and the Common Core NGOs with our taxpayer-provided money set aside exclusively for education.

  5. Here’s another angle on this mess— the third grade CC assessments require that 8 year olds be proficient typists in order to complete the test. Of course, that is not going to happen soon, so guess why my 3rd grade daughter’s teacher requested (to be successful on the test of course)? Ipads for every 3rd grader!!!

    And you know what? Our school (which doesn’t have money for practically anything) miraculously found the funds to buy the ipads! I think that proves how worried they are about these tests.

    And I have to wonder about the test/tech developers motives in structuring tests to “nudge” the schools into purchasing even more technology. It looks like a racket to me, and if we don’t have some legislators with common sense, we will all be falling down the same (expensive) rabbit hole.

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