(541) Technology Integration Vision Statement

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Defending the use of Technology within Public Schools.

John Dewey in his 1987 article titled “My Pedagogic Creed” stated that “school must represent present life – life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the play-ground.”  Present life to students includes Smart phones, MP3 players and computers, all of which have the capacity to tear down any kind of boundary in order to gain information within seconds.  ABC News reported that students spend on average 75 hours per week using some form of technology that enhances their ability to connect with others and view multiple forms of media that can be accessed anytime and anywhere.  Without realizing it, students are being primed, not only for future careers, but also to live in a technology rich society.  So why not integrate technology into public education?

Student Motivation

When learning occurs through the use of technology, there are positive outcomes.  According to a report issued by Milken Exchange on Educational Technology, students who use technology achieve higher results, take less time to learn more and have better attitudes and attendance when there classes include computer based instruction.  Students are adapting to the change in instructional delivery methods and day-to-day usage of technology.  In short, students like technology, and they want to use it more.

Core Skills

Technology ought to be the backbone of the education institution.  Skills that were once relevant in the classroom are no longer valid and have made way for current 21st Century skills that include:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity and Innovation Skills
  • Collaboration Skills
  • Information and Media Literacy Skills
  • Contextual Learning Skills

and according to The Partnership for 21st Skills students can learn these skills while preparing for higher education and future careers that includes a  globally competitive workforce.  Students are motivated to learn new abilities, some of which they already have and are eager to use in different contexts.

Schools have a responsibility to educate.  Education is not limited to subjects such as math, science or English but also includes life skills that allow students certain experiences that help them transition from one stage of their life to another.  The core 21st Century skills create avenues for such experiences to flourish.

Role Changes
The 21st Century has been a time of change:

Students now become the masters of their own destiny, choosing how to: “generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information.” This is highly linked to motivation and the ability to learn new skills in a changing environment.  Teachers are no longer the center of attention.  Through the use of technology, teachers become facilitators and as such have the time to scaffold students as they engage in project based learning.

Technology IS the vision of the future and education must not be left behind.  In a global economy, American students are no longer competing for jobs among themselves but with students from other countries.  That, in itself, is why technology should be integrated and instituted in order to give students an edge.

Guiding resources:
ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/kids-electronics-study-shows-kids-spend-hours-day/story?id=9616699
Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description 
ED.gov: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/plan/2004/site/theplan/edlite-TearDownThoseWalls.html
John Dewey, “My Pedagogical Creed:”  http://dewey.pragmatism.org/creed.htm
The Milken Exchange on Educational Technology: http://www.mff.org/pubs/ME161.pdf
Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students:http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/EdReformStudies/EdTech/effectsstudents.html

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One Response to (541) Technology Integration Vision Statement

  1. patchfam6 says:

    I loved the quote by Dewey and couldn’t agree more. It lines right up with the national education technology plan’s directives as well. In order for learning to “stick” it needs to be taught in a way that student can relate to and apply to their daily lives. They need to find the knowledge relevant. As you said, students like using technology, so we really ought to find effective ways to use it to their advantage. I also like how you said that U.S. students are now competing in a global marketplace. Having lived overseas for several years now, American students are kidding themselves if they think they are somehow automatically at the top of some list. Our educational system has a long way to go to give our students a chance, but effective technology integration is a good place to start. Thanks for the well-written piece.

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