Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in K-12 EducationSee Part 1 of this series on the Horizon Report 2015
Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve
- Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities
Schools are now beginning to investigate learning opportunities with in the local and global community. What can be done to solve local problems and what community groups can we connect with to solve them. This builds relationships for students and enables real life learning experiences. An example is where Hospitality students catered for a morning tea for local seniors while students from year 6-10 assist the seniors with IT skills they needed to work with their iPads and laptops. There has been Australian Research on school and community partnerships.
- Integrating Technology in Teacher Education
Integrating technology skills into teacher education yet each I am continually disappointed with the lack of technology schools by pre service teachers and new graduates. I recently had a new graduate tell me they "don't do technology" I am astounded by this attitude. Many (not all) preservice teacher's define technology as using a smartboard. One classroom at my school has a smart TV with touch screen, apple TV and chromecast. The classroom next door it has a smartboard with apple TV, some classrooms still use projectors (at teacher request). Each room is filled with students who know how to use this technology. Learning to use a smartboard is not integrating technology. My school has a Bring Your Own Device policy from year 5-12 this means each student has the device and platform of their own choosing. As a teacher I need to develop lessons they will suit all platforms. I can not be an expert in every platform or every piece of software. So I have sourced cloud based software that will work across platforms to use as a starting point.
For example: To make a movie I will suggest wevideo as a chrome extension through the chrome store. Students may choose to make the movie using iMovie or Windows MovieMaker or the YouTube Editor. I don't demand a software platform I ask for a product that demonstrates learning.
We are teaching a generation of students that will work in jobs that do not exist yet. Mapping the future of educational technology is shown in Mapping the future of education technology. So we must incorporate technology into student education so they can adapt into the future as technology changes.65% of students will be employed in jobs that don't exist yet.
Technology is a crucial tool for teachers. Like a hammer to a carpenter. The hammer does not do the building and it is not the only tool rather one from a range of tools in the tool box. Technology comes in a range of forms. From rulers and pencils to purpose designed software, apps and online tools, data loggers, drones and wearable technology. The technology should not be the focus of the lesson but a tool used to achieve learning outcomes.
In December 2014 I posted about the technology skills every teacher must have these are the minimum skills I would expect from a teacher and preferably they would be free online tools to ensure student equity.