My Dentist has a Tablet PC!

Last night I had my regular checkup at the dentist (no cavities,
thank you), and was amazed to see the technology that they have. Of course, I am talking of technology beyond
the X-ray machine and standard medical equipment. I am talking about the tablet PC that the
dental technician picked off its base, and handed to me to sign a consent
form. Upon doing so, my signature was
digitally transmitted over their Wi-Fi network to be merged with my dental
records. And later, when a question came
up about one of my teeth, the technician took a digital image of that tooth
that was instantly available in my records, right next to its X-ray image.

So why does my dental technician have all of this
sophisticated equipment available to them? Simple. It allows her to merge
multiple pieces of data together into a convenient digital medical record. In short, it makes her work more efficient.

This little snapshot of the modern American workforce
reveals why it important for us as educators to prepare our students technologically
for tomorrow (and arguably today). But maybe
that is too simple a statement, as this is already happening in many
schools. Wealthy suburban schools
already have technology like this, and many of these kids are also exposed to it
at home. Thus, these kids have a huge
advantage in today’s workforce before they even graduate.

To me, this might be the ultimate consequence of technology –
it will continue to drive a deep socioeconomic divide into our country. That is, unless we prevent that. That is why it is extremely important for our
educational system across the country to provide the same technological
advantages that will prepare our students for workforce, no matter their


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  1. Dale Basler said:

    You wrote:

    “provide the same technological advantages that will prepare our students for workforce, no matter their background”

    The roots of the achievement gap are not limited to technology access. What about the teachers, facilities, and other components that make up the school?

    Are you suggesting that we start with technology and the rest will follow?

  2. Brian Bartel said:

    I definitely agree that the achievement gap goes WAY beyond technology, but access to technology seems like an easy fix to help level the playing field.

    Besides – I am not simply talking about the achievement gap; I am talking more about the socioeconomic divide will prevent some from obtaining a job an guarantee that to others.