Over the course of the last 25 years, educational technology has gone through two major changes. First, it has become increasingly smaller and portable and secondly, it has become remarkably cheaper. These are important in the world of education.
However, despite all of the major technological breakthroughs that have happened during this quarter century, schools are still unable, at times, to catch up to the world and provide an updated, quality education to their students.
How is it possible for schools to make the most of our their educational technology opportunities? Simple: BY EDUCATING THEM!
It's all about the Benjamins
Let's face it, in many respects, technology is free… yes, I said free. Free email, Free Video tools, Free video editors and so much more. There are several places that schools can turn to for grants in this field. More importantly, they need to have educated leaders in place to make the right decisions.
Did you know that school districts can have free district-wide email, video conferencing, voice communication, and much more through Google Apps for Education? If this is such an educationally sound platform, and it's being adopted by thousands of school districts across the country, why do schools continue to pay thousands of dollars for their own email systems? If a school district can create a fabulous district website for hundreds of dollars using a platform such as WordPress rather than spending thousands of dollars hiring an out of district web development company, why don't they?
Just as I am pleased to see so many educators become connected educators and begin implementing free, robust tools in their schools, I am deeply depressed at the number of school districts stuck in past, paying WAY too much money for technology and not getting the prior return on it.
What should we do?
Put your school on the map . . . connect to other districts . . . take a look online and see what you can find. These are the important decisions a school must be making in 2014. You do not do your school a proper service if you bury your head in the sands and say that “we don't have the money.” Nobody doesn't have the money. You don't have the money NOT to be able to put the proper tools in the hands of your students. It's time that we decide to stop worrying about money for technology and choose to provide funding for our students. By the way, computers, laptops, iPads, and whatever else you think of when you look up the word EdTech is JUST AS IMPORTANT as buying desks, light bulbs and chairs.
Ask your students next time, if they could they exist in a classroom that has no desks, but instead, has beanbag chairs and a bunch of tablets? I think they would love the concept. They might even pay attention to your lessons if those tablets were all connected to each other.
Would they enjoy physical education class if, instead of running an obstacle course, they were pretending that they were playing Human Temple Run?
It's time to stop using the word “technology” as if it were a Totally New Concept and begin thinking about what our students really need. They need educational leaders with a vision to look beyond the problem and realize “There is no spoon”
Once we realize that the “spoon” doesn't exist, then and only then can we begin to focus on teaching students rather than focusing on solving a technology problem.
Share your thoughts with us below
What do you think?
How would you help a school district who can't see beyond its borders and fails to connect with the outside world?