Do you remember filmtrips, movie reels or overhead projectors? Or transparencies? These were the “tech tools”, which I remember from school. There was not an interactive thing anywhere. It was easy. It was easy for professors and teachers to choose between overheads and blackboards.
Since those days, we’ve made great strides and many new technologies have rapidly replaced the old. However, there is a lot of variation in the level of education technology implementations within school districts. It is clear that all school districts have set goals for education technology, regardless of their resources. Understanding the factors that affect the complexity and character of a problem is essential if we are to achieve any of these goals. These factors will affect the way we approach a problem and the solutions we use to achieve our goals.
From a 30,000-foot perspective, three components are common to an education technology solution: Hardware, Software, and Training. This is the often overlooked, but most important component.
The three essential components listed above are crucial in today’s education technology world. These are not the only tools we’ll use to reach our educational goals. You can’t just put all the best software, hardware and training materials into one room and expect them to produce higher test scores, graduation rates, and achievement rates.
It might seem that the next thing I will say will be about people and how they can make a difference. True, but it is important to remember that the real focus should be on what these people are doing (and in many cases NOT doing) to help us all reach our educational goals.
Many people have lost sight of the “education” aspect of education technology. We see it all the time, but we often forget that education technology is about properly educating students so they can reach their full potential.
Here are some of the biggest pitfalls we encounter as educators and technology integrators. These are activities and processes that have been shown to be inefficient, ineffective, or counterproductive to the education technology goals.