Is Your School Culture Ready for Education Technology?
A major breakthrough in education is coming. Technology is changing every single detail of our lives, your classrooms as well. It’s hardly a matter of technological devices, because it all starts from culture. So are you ready for education technology? How can you develop a strong relationship with new technologies? Pave your way into the future and start to include technology to bring innovation in learning techniques.
We started analysing an interesting insight from EdTech Magazine – Focus K-12, and we think the advice given by Mike Patterson can really help you.
Technology is the air we breathe
How can you bring technology in your classroom without having access to the technology itself? This is the first and granted step. Look at the impact of tech on the IT infrastructure of the school and on the day-to-day experience of teachers and students. Have you ever thought about teachers and students having a real technology program, if there are defined responsibilities and paths to follow and if the need of using technology has been communicated to everyone involved in this change?
Technology is a huge opportunity both for teachers and for students: teachers will make their job easier, and students will benefit from new learning opportunities. A right training for teachers, though, is needed to develop new teaching skills. It’s important to be engaged in the new education program and to start a new path together with students. At last, don’t forget that IT infrastructure should be built with the eyes of both figures, the IT guys and the teachers. The new technology at your disposal should be easy to use it.
Say goodbye to silos: here comes the age of collaboration
So a technology change is on the way at your school. There are a lot of departments in a school. Are you sure to work together? In order to make things work at their best, it’s important that all departments are constantly working together and share their knowledge, so they can bridge the gap between curricula and decisions concerning Information Technology. The first need is to collaborate.
Different roles have to start learning from each other: very soon everything will be considered a learning initiative. True success in education technology will only come with true collaboration. We let the words of Patterson speak: “If you are not having collaborative conversations between your teachers and IT department, you are selling yourself short of a truly successful tech initiative.”
Teachers and IT have to work together in order to make technology change happen. Silos are over: here comes the age of collaboration.
Learning must reflect the real world
Ok, there’s IT and there are teachers. Everyone must be future-ready for technology in classrooms. But what about students? Are they engaged enough? Will they be an active part of the change?
Teachers and school administrators should start from creating a learning environment that reflects the real world. K-12 students were born with technology and are growing in a connected environment. According to Patterson, “we need to meet our students where they are, which is in a world of connectivity with anywhere, anytime access.” After all, to keep students engaged you don’t have to “turn them off” when they go to school. Let them breathe with the same air they breathe at home.
Another important advice for teachers and schools from Patterson is: many schools probably force their students to use the same tech-learning device. Well, think different. Step back from a standardized – one-size-fits-all – approach, where every student is given the same device. Consider instead combining a one-to-one program with a “bring-your-own-device-at-school” program. That’s another way students can be ready for the real world.
It’s all about school culture. It’s all about the way teachers and IT people collaborate with each other. It’s all about paving the right way to step into the future and bring technology into the classrooms. Try to think that schools are already in the future. Don’t step back and look forward: your students are ready, because they breathe technology. And so do you. Just create the right environment for yourselves.