They Call It Tech Now
Last year at back-to-school night, I complained about how PowerPoint software had become such an important part of my son's teachers' presentations to the public that I was concerned that one-to-many forms of corporatized communication might also be stifling interactions in the classroom. This year, only one teacher used PowerPoint slides, and it was a modest sequence of just four rectangles of information rather than a pecha kucha style barrage of text and images. Instead, most of her presentation came in the form of a dazzling display of three flares representing different placeholders in the chemical spectrum while the music from 2001 boomed in the background. Other teachers directed their parents to personal websites or to their Twitter feeds, although some contingents of teachers still use delivery points with highly standardized features like new.schoolnotes.com or schoolfusion.com that are more depersonalized than DIY solutions. As a parent I was concerned to see at least one teacher at Lincoln Middle School directing students to an online textbook site for skill-and-drill quizzes and distant learning videos. California students may be soon getting far too much of that, so we wouldn't want to start the automation of education any earlier.