2 Simple Ways to Measure the Success of Your School Technology Program

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The pencil was, in its day, a disruptive technology. When the little pink eraser on the end was introduced it had educators throwing up their hands. Now, they said, no one will think before they write. The pencil is also an incredibly sophisticated tool. It took more than a century to perfect–Thoreau’s family was a player in the pencil wars of the early 19th century.

Yet, no one notices pencils anymore. They are a great example of the successful integration of technology in education. (By the way, no one I know considers correlating pencils to test scores as they did in this misplaced critique in the New York Times.) The marks of this success are ubiquity and invisibility.

A quick check on theses two scales let’s me easily gauge the success of any school’s technology program, however sophisticated the devices or applications they roll out.

cross-posted from my blog, A Stick in the Sand


  1. This is is a tremendous over-simplification. According to your scales, content means nothing. Give the student a smart phone and all is well. Please don’t respond with “You’re missing the point”. I get what you trying to say. I believe this type of blog post is counter-productive in it’s “You’re hip to me or you’re an idiot ” approach (see many of Will Richardson posts) which turns teachers away from using tech or at least, reading blogs.

  2. You are quite right, this is a simplification; educational technologies are making broad and profound changes in schooling that I don’t think one could adequately explain all that in a whole set of books.

    In any case, a blog post should never be considered as the final word on anything. Blogs are conversations, musing, thinkings-out-loud. Thanks for keeping the talk going.


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