There is a seventh grade girl in my class. If you came by to visit, she probably wouldn't stand out. The moment she sits down, it is all about the work. From keyboarding to keeping her podcasting group focused, she is all business. She doesn't want to just complete the challenge, she wants to excel in it. Sounds like a dream student, doesn't it? This girl has a problem though.... she is about to fail the seventh grade.
When I first heard about this problem, I was in shock! How could this focused girl be so different in other classes? I had to know what was going on so I went to a direct source for information, the girl's mother. It turns out this girl has ADHD, but when she is interested in the topic she can have ultra-focus. The mother says she LOVES technology, which causes her to focus. It explains why when I call her name, she never hears me. That also explains why when she is forced to unplug, she loses that focus.
Why do I bring up this girl in a blog post about continuing funding for EETT, Enhancing Education Through Technology? EETT funded the computer lab that this girl thrives in every time. Additional EETT funds would provide the hardware necessary for this girl and the other 1,199 students to learn in a way that comes naturally to them. EETT funds professional development for teachers to address the needs of digital natives. How can we "Race to the Top" if we go backwards in technology?