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Lodi Unified School Districts shuffle, tech ed progressing

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Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:00 am

The brass at Lodi Unified School District recently moved several administrators, drawing protests from parents and teachers.

We know it’s hard to see a good boss move on. But we understand where Lodi Unified’s top decision-makers are coming from. They must look at the broader picture.

For example, does a particular campus need a fresh infusion of academic leadership, or faculty fence-mending, or organizational rigor? For vice principals to expand skills, should they be paired with someone with complementary skills? Is an administrator good with faculty but not so strong with a budget?

It’s hard for a parent or teacher, looking through a single lens, to assess such a phalanx of variables.

Switching administrative staff from campus to campus can be difficult and politically tense, but often it is the right thing to do.

Stability has its virtue, true.

So does change.

Tech education moving forward

Since its inception in late March, Lodi Unified’s technology committee has quietly plodded and planned.

What’s happening now is the necessary and nearly invisible activity of thinking — envisioning what needs to be done before “doing something.” It’s also the stage at which so many governmental good intentions become “doing nothing.”

So this is worth worrying about.

But trustee George Neely, who is all for making the most of technology at Lodi schools, is satisfied with progress to date.

He notes the formation of a steering committee which has created a selection process for a working committee.

Oh, dear. Should we be worried?

The first task, Neely said, is to set goals.

Like what, we wondered?

Neely will recommend three goals:

  • Integrate technology into the Lodi curriculum. Before we could express worry about such arcane “educalese,” he went on to explain; he means to replace textbooks with computer programs that teach. He worries that most programs available right now presume to replace a teacher instead of working with the teacher. Lodi teachers and administrators may have to develop their own programs if they are going to succeed.
  • Teach students to use digital technology. Neely realizes that most kids know how to post on Facebook and watch videos on YouTube. He thinks they need to be better at using graphic design and spreadsheet programs. (Think Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft Excel.) These teach students not just how to write and figure, but to express themselves and plan.
  • Teach computer science so that Lodi students can create computer programs and websites. These skills require a high degree of logic and attention to detail and should supplement more traditional subjects in career education.

If the technology committee adopts such lofty goals, it will set out to make Lodi students masters of digital technology and two-way communication using audio, video, graphics and text.

When that vision is executed, updated teaching methods and subjects will touch every public school teacher and student in the district.

That’s doing something.

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