Bachenheimer Discusses How PVRHSD Chooses Its Technology

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Dr. Barry Bachenheimer is the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment at Pascack Valley Regional High School District; in short, he makes learning at PHHS/PVHS better for students, administrators and teachers. Dr. Bachenheimer finds groundbreaking technology that we use in our classrooms everyday. There are so many websites and apps we can use, and one can only imagine how hard it is to decide what to use.

When asked, he said he chooses by asking himself, “Is this good for our students? If yes, explore it.”

Since new technology comes out almost monthly, it is easy to want the next big thing. Dr. Bachenheimer explained that there is something called “the shiny object theory.” This theory is when we see a new exciting invention, and we want to get it immediately.

Dr. Bachenheimer said, “We want it, but don’t think we need it.”

He also brought up how in elementary school, we used textbooks and on certain days we would have “computer time” where we would go down to the computer lab. Now, computer time equals learning time.

“You are learning and technology happens to be there,” Dr. Bachenheimer explained.

When you think of an assessment, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a test. Out of five categories– data systems, collaboration, assessment, professional development, and curriculum tools– the hardest to implement is assessment.

“Too many people equate assessment with grades,” said Dr. Bachenheimer.

When asked his opinion on this year’s two virtual days compared to the first two: “Overall I think we improved. It is very clear that student interaction with a teacher had value.”

Attending this EdSurge summit, I noticed the majority of the attendees were administrators. This doesn’t make sense because the idea of using the technology is made for us students. In response to this observation, Dr. Bachenheimer stated, “We need to talk to students more about it.”

This reporter could not agree more.