Technology has become a seamless part of students’ lives in and out of the classroom, and schools must find ways to integrate it. This is one of the conclusions in a report by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), which states that policymakers at the highest level need to understand the trend and form a cohesive course of action for schools to follow.
In Born in Another Time: Ensuring Educational Technology Meets the Needs of Students Today — And Tomorrow the NASBE focuses on the importance of understanding students’ needs, ensuring that teachers are prepared to meet those needs, and shoring up the technical infrastructure that will allow schools to participate.
“Our kids are digitally savvy when it comes to gaming, texting, and social networking, but when it comes to information, even the best students can be digital doofuses.”
Up until now, much of the enthusiasm for education technology, blended learning, online courses and other digital aids in the classroom have come from teachers themselves. In fact, many ed-tech companies are pursuing a teacher-first strategy, opting to hook the educator and avoid the complicated bureaucracy of selling to school districts. That has left a patchwork of tools and uncertainty among some teachers who would like to take advantage of new tech tools, but aren’t sure how to get started.
“State boards of education along with their state education agencies are key to providing the leadership on education technology issues our school systems need to ensure students are ready for life and work in a digital era,” wrote the NASBE study group tasked with investigating emerging tech trends. At the same time the report acknowledges that the current landscape is a “wild, wild west” of various products and approaches. “Because of their formal responsibilities, state education systems are the only entities able to offer a sustainable platform for aligning these promising—but still fragmented and rapidly changing — forces,” the report said. Continue reading