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Utah’s veteran educators may need to ‘die off’ before technology fills classrooms

Jul 27, 2017 by

Public school teachers are too slow to embrace classroom technology purchased by the state, according to some Utah lawmakers.

They voiced that concern Wednesday as members of the state Legislature’s Public Education Appropriations Committee met to discuss software “fidelity,” or the rate of students achieving a minimum number of hours using software programs.

Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said too many teachers are unwilling to abandon their traditional lesson plans in favor of computer-enhanced teaching. He then evoked a biblical reference, wondering aloud what it might take for Utah to see widespread implementation of school technology.

“Are we going to have to wait like Moses did,” Stephenson said, “wandering 40 years in the wilderness for the old ones to die off before we can really embrace this with fidelity?”

The comment generated criticism on social media, including by Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, former president of the Utah Education Association.

“This comment is beneath you!” Gallagher-Fishbaugh wrote on Twitter to Stephenson. “Shamefully disrespectful and ignorant.”

Linda Mariotti, Granite School District assistant superintendent, said low software fidelity is less a result of techno-phobic educators and more a reflection of staffing turnover at schools and the lack of flexibility in state software contracts.

Source: Lawmaker: Utah’s veteran educators may need to ‘die off’ before technology fills classrooms | The Salt Lake Tribune

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