I’ve recently seen a few posts on social media indicating technology takes away from education. I’ve witnessed certification opportunities from large companies being redesigned to reach educators. This year one large company, only now, has released a tablet version of their product. *coughgooglecough*
Why are we still fighting this battle of implementation of technology in education rather than embracing it? Tech in education is not an argument. Certification is a must and shouldn’t have to be sold. Simple handheld devices must be the norm for our entry point students.
I can access college level coursework on my phone at anytime. I’m able to explore Mars in Virtual Reality from 360 images recently sent back to earth. I can reach hundreds of colleagues to collaborate on ideas. Why would I hold my students back from having access to resources and skills they will need for their own success when they graduate?
If this is the world now what will it look like to our kindergarteners? To give perspective, our 10th graders were in kindergarten when the first iPhone came out in 2007.
Technology is a part of education. Technology is a part of our world. It’s not a question and is not an argument any more. Every teacher needs to be certified in technology products. Thankfully, right now, most large companies provide free certifications. They want students using their products so they train the teacher. Every teacher out of obligation to the future of our students is obligated to be certified in at least one productivity suite or operating system. Ignorance and age is not an excuse.
Yes, books still have a place in the classroom. Literature is necessary for our students. But do they have to be on paper where they can be lost and/or destroyed? Can’t we hold them in a place where discussions can happen at any time?
Why do I still see questions as to the efficacy of technology in education? It’s not completely about how well tech supports learning. Technology is embedded in everything. Our students must know how to navigate with it. Thereby we need to know.
- Certify yourself in at least one major product. Right now that’s looking like Google, Apple, or Windows. You can do it at home and online. Training material is offered by each organization.
- Fight for reasonable and responsible technology use in your classroom. If you aren’t in a 1:1 environment reach out to your community for old devices. Look in to grants to support providing technology access.
- Allow technology into your curriculum. That is to say your curriculum should not be about technology unless that’s what you teach. Let students create work through devices. Consider going paperless if appropriate. Look at the SAMR model to support your growth.
- Share, show, collaborate, communicate with fellow educations on how technology in can improve education. Small steps of change by many can lead to great shifts. Better yet drag the least technical among you into this world of tech in education and you will see a rush to try it. Fear often holds back change. Be courageous in your steps forward.
Teachers currently in education programs need access to certification programs. Teachers currently teaching need to seek out certifications even when a district doesn’t offer it. Becoming fluent in immersing technology in your classroom doesn’t just make you a better teacher. It makes you a current teacher.