Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Technology, Change and Education

One of the major challenges that is facing education today is the impact that technology has been having on schools, students, and teachers.  Much like Clayton Christensen, who said that the coming technological revolution will create disruptive change in schools in his book "Disrupting Class:  How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns", I believe that schools need to begin looking at new models for how we educate our students.  Merely cramming technology into the current factory based model that we have utilized for the past 100 years is not going to create the environment for change that is needed. We need to look beyond the traditional format and begin to create new models that can personalize instruction, allow for greater student choice and voice, and create a community of learners.

This thinking was reinforced the other day when I read the following article from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Darryl Tippens (Provost at Pepperdine University) titled Technology Has Its Place:  Behind a Caring Teacher.  In this article, Mr. Tippens argues that while technology can do many things, it can not replace the environment of a residential college experience where students learn together.  He states, "People are social creatures who best mature intellectually in a particular social environment. At the center of an effective educational system is a vibrant community in which learners not only think together but also engage in learning practices together."   

As I began to share this article via Diigo to our administrative team, I began to think what the implications of this are for K-12 school corporations.   We do not have the residential environment that colleges have to create these unique learning environments for primary and secondary schools in a natural way.  Yet, research has continually shown us that relationships are one of the most important parts of creating a great learning environment.  Which leads me to my question: In what ways can we utilize technology to create more opportunities for teachers and students to develop learning communities that will engage students in the process?  

Google has the ability to render teaching obsolete, if all we concern ourselves with is the regurgitation of facts.  Traditional high stakes testing has lead to a more fact based approach.  The promise of the Common Core tests are that they will focus more on higher level skills and go beyond mere fact based testing.   These changes should lead us to creating more interactive relational learning environments.  The question is, can we turn the ship fast enough to keep pace with the changes occurring around us?

1 comment:

  1. "This is so not because faculty members oppose technology—indeed, many embrace it with enthusiasm. But there is resistance for good reason. Many faculty, even those who embrace it, understand its limitations. Some things technology does with astonishing success. Some things it does poorly. Astute educators recognize the difference." Darryl Tippens That's the key to life and everything that surrounds it....balance...and how to find it.