Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Evolution of Technology

This week's topic was to review the current research regarding educational technology.  Wow there is a lot out there!  After sorting through quite a few articles, I found one titled "From Pixel to Print: The role of videos, games, animations, and simulations within K - 12 education" by Project Tomorrow's Speak Up.  This research article caught my interest based on the title and the first few lines, about how education has migrated from word of mouth (which was popular in ancient Greece, where Socrates emphasized the importance of the oral tradition), to written texts/resources (first made popular by Plato, Socrates' student), to the now ever present use of technology.  
Socrates - Image Source
Plato - Image Source



Given the information and research that is presented in this article, I think that it would be beneficial for teachers, and people in the field of education, to read the current statistics about how technology is impacting teaching.  There are many references to previous years and how the percentage of technology has drastically increased in the classroom (via videos, game based learning, online curriculum, self created videos, etc.).  I found it interesting that when principals were asked about the benefits of using technology during the school day, the key words that stood out were increasing student engagement, extending learning (beyond the standard school day), personalizing instruction for students, increasing the relevancy and quality of teaching, and improving the teachers skills (with technology).  Helping students stay actively engaged and extending their learning beyond the school day, seemed to be a reoccurring theme.  
MacBook Air - Image Source
Technology is not going away, instead it is improving and expanding everywhere, so making sure teachers stay up to date on this topic and current information is very beneficial, so that they are able to stay abreast to all that is out there.  That being said, it is also important for teachers and staff to continue to receive the appropriate professional development and training, with the new technology, so that they are able to use it the best way possible, to enhance their teachings and challenge the students.  

I would hope that school districts read the current research, to find out the benefits of various technology, before purchasing it for the district and/or asking teachers to implement it in their classrooms.  From my experience, and from information that is given to us by our technology department, the staff look into all aspects of possible technology.   What is also just as important, is also continuing to monitor and keep up to date on the best way to maintain student privacy.  In today's world of hackers and malware, school districts do not want to put any of the students, or staff, at risk when information is posted online.  Overall, I think that given the amount of technology that is available to use, it is important for educators to read about the current research, in order to be familiar with the new information, and also to determine the best way to incorporate it with their students.    


  1. I am curious how the idea of "extending learning" will come to be balanced with allowing children to socialize and play. I'm not against the idea of extending learning through use of different tech options, but I do worry that children will have less and less time to interact face-to-face and practice social skills with peers. It all comes back to the theme of BALANCE that seems to repeat as we explore various aspects of tech!

    1. I totally agree! The article talked about "flipped classrooms" and game based learning, and how it helped kids do more learning at home. It was interesting to see how much of an impact technology has and what students think school will be like by 2020!

  2. I agree! We're all taking this class because we want to stay on top of our field, and regardless of our specialty in teaching, technology is at the forefront of everything we do now!

  3. For me it's not about "all tech all the time" but finding methods that work for me and my students. Extending learning can benefit students if, as Sharon stated there is balance!