Now more than ever I am convinced that schools can keep up with the pressures to provide adequate technology infrastructure, and possess some control over balancing the rising costs in the name of progress (ie. replacement costs, technician time, vandalism, replacement, upgrades, etc.). The key, is appears, lies in the relationship between providing opportunity for unfettered Internet access and support to utilize personali devices to access it. Better yet, just ask the students…crazy, eh?
This past fall hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, and parents from across the United States and Canada participated in Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up for Education survey. After a brief cursory scan of the results, two main trends regarding technology in education, from the perspective of the students, became apparent: (1) efficient wireless network that is dependable is essential; and (2) a learning environment where students are encouraged to bring and utilize their own personal devices to work in a blended fashion with online and in-person course interactivity is paramount.
These two factors are what students believe to be a fundamental requirement for the shift towards the personalized learning agenda of the 21st century. Students view these facets as levelers of the technology playing field. In fact, this high-road approach takes technology (or lack thereof) out of the equation. Technology (its inadequacy) itself is no longer the issue; rather it is the quality of education for the society of tomorrow that regains its priority, and rightly so, holds sway.
And two recent articles pulled from my personal learning network have convinced me that education leaders are on the right track as we blister ahead into the second decade of this century. Listen to the students and take technology inadequacy off the table as an issue.