I have been an educator for 22 years and educational technology has always been a part of my teaching practice. I have sought to use different technological resources to enhance the classroom experience of my students by listening to my instincts as an experienced teacher but I have never articulated a formal vision or mission statement about the integration of educational technology into the curriculum I teach until now. Doing so has increased in importance for me as I have recently been appointed vice principal of my school, and one of my responsibilities is the acquisition of edtech resources for our entire school of 1700 students. Without a clear vision, it will be difficult for me to execute these tasks in which I am now in charge.
First and foremost, I believe that educational technology can and should enhance the curricula we teach. Teaching and learning are complex processes and educational technology can play an important role in assisting teachers to deliver knowledge and for learners to acquire that same knowledge. Educational technology has become a huge industry with endless choices available to schools. Recently, we have seen Smartboards, tablets, chromebooks and handheld devices become commonplace in our classrooms. With all this choice it may be difficult for educators to decide what technology to acquire. If it doesn’t enhance a curriculum, don’t bother (Provenzano, 2012).
I also believe that educational technology can help bridge achievement gaps by providing assistive technology for learners with special needs. Thanks to apps like “Read, Write Google,” students with reading difficulties can quickly and easily have text read to them. Speech to text apps are common place and help students who normally would have needed a scribe in the past. Students with vision problems can overcome that limitation by increasing font size on an e-reader. Translation tools can assistant English Language Learners in schools. It is clear that many of the challenges some of our students face can be overcome thanks to technology. In fact, the assistive nature of educational technology is a strong reason for its use in our educational settings (Roblyer, 2015).
Technology of all sorts is ever present in all aspects of modern life. We have smart TVs, connected appliances, wearable technology, etc. I strongly believe we would doing our students a disservice if we didn’t embrace technology in an educational setting. The ability to work and live in this technological world had become a core competency that we should be teaching our students. (Alberta Education, 2016). With limited funding, educational institutions may find it difficult to acquire educational technology but not acquiring it, is not an option. I firmly believe we have a moral obligation to our students to integrate technology into our schools.
Alberta Education.(2016, March 17). Competencies Overview. Retrieved June 03, 2017, from https://education.alberta.ca/media/3115408/competencies-overview-may-17.pdf
Provenzano, N. (2012, April 17). A (Very) Short Guide to Purchasing New Technology. Retrieved June 03, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/purchasing-classroom-tech-nicholas-provenzano