On Twitter, I read quite a few tweets from those who are part of this PLN. It really bothers me that so much is given on technology and so many questions are asked about how you use technology in your classrooms.
The fact is, at least in my urban district, our technological capabilities are somewhat limited. Yes, we have computers but the majority of websites that would be of use to our students are blocked by the district. We have only two projectors, which everyone wants to use (mostly to show movies) so it is hard to get hold of one for powerpoints or other educational purposes. No one in my school has use of a Smartboard.... and honestly, I've never even seen how to use one.
I wanted to use a wiki site for homework, however it's blocked in the school and the majority of our students so do not have acess to computers at home. Or, much like phones... one day they have internet access the next they do not.
In my classroom, the most reliable piece of technology I have is my overhead projector; a dinosaur, I know. However, even given this sad commentary, I don't think it is at the root of inner-city underachievement.
Mixing up students of the "advantaged" with the unadvantaged will not, in my opinion, push the ever growing achievement gap between the two closer. I believe the gap begins well before our students enter school. Many of our students begin school with delays in speech and certainly with little or no experience with Standard English. Again my opinion, addressing this issue could begin to significantly begin to shorten this gap. The concept seems simple enough, but it has ramifications well beyond the classroom. This is not a blame game, it's about how we can help our students have equal advantages in life upon graduation.
I believe mastering Standard English both in written and spoken form will help our students in many different ways, which will ultimately show up in increased test scores. I am not a big test score person, but we all know districts use this as a measure of success.
I have so much more to express on this subject but am curious about your thoughts.