I believe in the use of technology as a tool. Within an educational setting, at every level it can and should be employed to the advantage of its users in a broad variety of ways, whether they are administrators, staff, teachers or students.
Technology is a tool for efficiency and productivity. Using technology, the full range of administrative staff effectively manages mountains of data on a daily basis. Directors develop slideshows and infographics helping boards and staff better understand and implement policy. Principals use learning management systems (LMS) to stay aware of and communicate student issues quickly and discreetly with both parents and teachers. Counselors create everything from complex course schedules to up-to-the-minute transcripts in student information systems in a fraction of the time. Human Resources, accounting and secretaries use LMS’s and spreadsheets to track staff benefits and records, manage million dollar budgets, and provide valuable statistical reports. Meanwhile, teachers in classrooms use those same systems to track and share attendance data with both the office and parents. Using technology, teachers develop and organize curriculum into daily lesson plans that individualize learning and ease classroom management, while allowing them to also stay current with educational trends, philosophies, policies and strategies, and take advantage of professional development opportunities virtually anywhere.
Technology is a tool for creativity and innovation. In classrooms, students publish e-books, design new products and websites, and digitally draw, paint, and edit photos and artwork. Using computers and webcams, they record videos and podcasts to publish and share their thoughts and creations with the world. They use technology to direct their own learning in meaningful and authentic ways by investigating real world issues that matter to them and working toward effective solutions. Furthermore, students use technology to explore the world beyond the classroom whether tweeting with experts, talking with authorities and influencers around the world, or engaging with people directly affected by global problems. In addition, data modeling and computer simulations help students learn in ways they could not without it. And while using technology, responsibility, independence and collaboration with peers are but three of the skills students can develop.
I believe in the use of technology as a tool to extend education to the length and breadth of human imagination and vision. For while (thanks to technology) we know that we are made of the stuff of stars, we do not yet know all that we can or will become.
I believe in the use of technology.