Welcome to the Hallway

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Welcome to the Hallway

Secretary Duncan's Staff Visits Elementary SchoolWelcome to “Gossip from the Hallways,” an education technology blog designed to dish on all the scuttlebutt resounding from the school hallways about how technology is impacting education. From cyberbullying to virtual classrooms to energy efficiencies in schools, this blog will cover all the stuff too good to simply pass a note about.

First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Carrie Schmelkin and I am a Web Editor here at TMCnet. Let me start off by saying that I am no stranger to how education technology has rocked the school hallways. A recent college graduate myself, and a proud member of the Class of 2009 from Syracuse University (sorry all you UConn fans!), I have already seen how technology is making its way into the classrooms. Chalkboards were replaced with SMART boards; overhead projectors trashed in favor of flat screen TVs, and student’s notebooks moved aside to make room for laptops.

Following graduation, I started working at a local newspaper in New Canaan, Conn., where I mostly reported on education in both public and private schools. For almost two years, I saw how kids’ school environments were being transformed because of the power of technology – resulting in a school cultural shift of which even kids weren’t cognizant.

The impact of technology in schools – both the good and the bad – is only just beginning.

Last year, the world stood aghast as 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, jumped to his death after being the victim of online bullying. It all came to a head when an intimate moment between Clementi and another male was surreptitiously taped by Clementi’s roommate and streamed over the Internet. The act of bullying was not only a main driver in Clementi taking his life but also served as a wake-up call as to how much technology had made its way into schools, classrooms and even dorm rooms.

Questions were raised such as “Are we entering a world of brutal cyber bullying?” “Is there any way to protect our kids from being exploited on the Internet?” and “Is school no longer a safe place?” And the answers soon showed us that technology may be perhaps the biggest “bully” on the playground nowadays.

Technology is as much a part of our phone systems, data centers and call centers as it is in our schools. Kids nowadays are growing up in a world rich with education technology resources such as elearning, Skype and Blackboard but also in a world rife with danger as Facebook and Twitter are now serving as the bathroom walls that were once used to document insensitivities.

This blog will explore the pretty and the ugly when it comes to education technology and what we can expect schools to go through as they navigate an increasingly complex tech world.

So come back and visit; stay after school with me for some extra help about how 21st century technologies are changing the culture of our educational institutions forever.

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