Have you noticed what's happening in your child's school? Technology. There's rarely a lesson taught, be it math or science or health, that doesn't include some form of technology.
Education has changed to enhance its message, increase its reach, and improve its communication. If you haven't been in the classroom lately, drop by this week when you pick up your wonderful student.
There's likely to be a Smartboard (or some sort of interactive screen) on the wall, a pod of computers (if not 1:1 laptops) overflowing from a corner, maybe iPads on desktops or in a mobile cart, a digital camera and microphones to record events, and streaming video from the “Discovery Channel.”
Those ubiquitous samples of student work that traditionally clutter the walls now include many created with computers.
How Technology Can Enable Innovation
Today's education happens by standing on the shoulders of technology innovation.
If you don't have a school-age child, take a peek at Cisco's VNI Service Adoption Forecast (VNI-SA) research. There's an uptick in the impact of technology on all parts of consumer life. According to the research the average home had four connected devices in 2011, and by 2016 that number will rise to nearly 7. But it’s not just about the connectivity, it’s what the connectivity means. These changes are all about connecting students to their future, empowering them with responsibility for their own education in areas such as:
- Access to learning
- Quality of instruction and education assessment
- Innovative learning models
- Decision making
- Reduced costs with administrative efficiency (not yet, but it's a good goal)
As a tech teacher, the new educational paradigm relies on either the United States' No Child Left Behind, the International Baccalaureate Organization's International IB educational guidelines, and/or the National Board of Governors state-driven Common Core Standards (already adopted in 46 states).
Interestingly, these education standards may (or may not) address technology, but only tangentially, as they contribute to core subjects. Many states have area-specific technology standards (though all don't, most visibly California). Others leave it to the International Society of Technology Education's well-respected NETS national technology standards.
As the tech teacher, I used to teach keyboarding and software. Now, depending upon my school's focus, it's laptops, iPads, online tools, websites, and problem-solving to increase independence.
Over the next months, I'll give you a peek into how today's classrooms are using this unprecedented access to the world's knowledge base. I'll start with keyboarding.
It's not your mother's typing class. First off, it starts in kindergarten. I bet most of you took typing in high school—maybe middle school if your school district was precocious.
What a wonderful time to be a student.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade and the creator of two technology training books for middle school and three eBooks on technology in education.
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Do you have an interesting story of how technology has changed your community, your work, or your business? Is technology providing opportunities that impact the socio-economics of the world around you? Contact us at email@example.com if you'd like to contribute to this blog series.
What is VNI-SA? This is the Service Adoption forecast portion of our popular VNI research. It focuses on the worldwide end user adoption rates for a wide variety of services (e.g., SMS, mobile banking, online gaming, social media, location-based services). Read more at http://www.cisco.com/go/vnisa