As a self-identified "tech head" and a Director of Innovative Learning, I am constantly bombarded with opportunities to try and leverage emergent technologies to improve or enhance student experiences in the classroom. While I absolutely love and embrace this challenge, I am often concerned when I hear some of the rhetoric around technology integration in education. Let me clearly state up front that in the modern era, I believe it is irresponsible to fail to develop innovative solutions to ensure every student has access and opportunity to experience digital technologies in the classroom. If adults fail to provide equitable and expansive access to the types of tools that will be seamlessly and ubiquitously integrated in the workforce, then we fail to adequately prepare our students to thrive as adults.
However, as I interact with educators and non-educators alike, I am taken aback by the number of times I am asked to share information about technology specifications. My geeky side loves to talk shop about new technologies and the potential they bring to revolutionizing educational experiences, but it has always been clear that the most important component in education always has been and always will be the people. Technology is never more than a tool, digital or otherwise. The true potential lies in the hands of the craftsman. The artisan wielding the tool is the master that brings it to life. Educators must fervently work to shift and grow as technology changes. Giving students access to new technology is an important step, but it is not the only step. As access is realized, educators and leaders must work to reimagine what educational experience could and should look like. In the modern era, visionaries like Dr. Seymour Papert can have their visions come to full fruition as students engage in constructivist experiences that foster deeper, more authentic learning!
Access to the right tools is critical to enabling students to engage on this level, but the value of these tools can only be fully realized when the people involved embrace the opportunity and reimagine what is possible. This is happening in pockets all over the world, but it is critical that we remain vigilant to ensure that the stuff of education never trumps the who. Students need access, but the most important thing they need access to doesn't have a micro-processor or run on electricity. Every student desperately needs (and deserves) access to educators who are passionate about facilitating opportunities for each student to realize his/her full potential.
We have those teachers. We have those leaders. We have to continue to create opportunities for educators to develop innovative approaches that will best prepare today's students for their brightest future!
GE Foundation Leadership Summit
Leveraging Innovative Technologies for Learning
Texas Open Innovation Conference
Mar 27 - 29
Emerging Innovations in Education
Authentic Learning through PBL
FFT Leading & Learning
Connecting Global Education with the Tennessee Valley
reMake Education Summit
Sonoma County, CA
Keynote, Making Making Work in Education
National Governor's Association
Teaching Governor's to Code
US Dept of Education
Round Table with Secretary John King.
K-12 Pathways for CS
Ed Foo--Making in Education (breakout session)
K-12 Education Panels
Strategies for Reducing the Racial Gap in Computing
Boston Museum of Science
Teaching with Toys--Using Robotics as a Gateway for Computer Science
US Dept of Education
MSP Computer Science Proposition
§ The Great Miscalculation
§ Five Facts About Failing
§ Oh! That's STEM?
§ My Mom Isn't
an Engineer and That's