No one could doubt that our society has been and is continuing to be inundated with technological advances. Looking at what Ian Jukes and many others have termed our digital natives, the youth of our world, confirms this infiltration. Every day I find younger and younger children carrying their own personal cell phones and using all its features fluently. Today’s teens use the Web to not only seek out information, but also to communicate and seek their entertainment. Find a teen who isn’t on Facebook or MySpace and who hasn’t downloaded their favorite song either legally or illegally. Teens not only use technology, but rely on it as an integral tool to complete daily tasks.
This technological trend has impacted our educational systems. If you have noticed, the title of this blog is EDIIT. This stands for Education using Information and Instructional Technology. Teachers have been using technology in meaning ways for almost a decade. Instruction has become more efficient and effective because of its integration even if it has been in small measurable amounts. The word that you may have not expected to see in the subtitle was information. This refers to a new trend to integrate information technology or personal student data into the instructional process. This type of technology is no longer religated to only businesses and the quest to make more money.
We all have our feelings about what legislation like No Child Left Behind has done for public education. What cannot be denied about this legislation is that it mirrors new educational initiatives that have been termed Data Driven Decision Making. Factual information about our students is vital in meeting their needs. It is no longer acceptable for teachers to guess at what deficiencies are plaguing today’s students. This information based type of education requires the accumulation of extremely large amounts of data. Technology’s role is to provide repositories of student information that can be accessed quickly and efficiently while also being meaningfully compiled. Interactive response tools such as the Senteo from SMART technologies give instant feedback from a question posed from every student in the class not simply the one who responded. Knowing, acquiring, archiving, and analyzing data has become the norm and not the one time exception.
Because of this expansion in technology need, technology departments in our nations schools have had to accept these new data basing challenges. Many times this excursion into “new-to-education” areas requires retooling or reorganizing of already swamped departments. Technology personnel cannot be just hardware, software, and integration support. It needs to be inclusive of this new data demand. Are administrations and Board of Educations ready for this enhanced role of technology in education? Can existing departments handle to larger load?
It is my goal to use this blog as a tool to both present important technological issues or advancements and discuss, in an academic manner, their impact on today’s educational institutions. This will hopefully be a place where educators, whether technologically advanced or not, can visit to find interesting conversations that are confronting our world’s educational process. Hopefully, it will also become a resource for new and innovative tools that can help enhance education while also relieving the stress of new demands.
As with all new projects, I hope to keep current and be prolific. We’ll see how that goes!