Are We Failing Education Technology?

After beginning to use online tech applications in your classroom, you might ask a few questions…

  • Is this really going to help my students?
  • Am I just doing the same things I was doing on paper, on a computer now?
  • Is this the future?

Good questions.

Unfortunately, many of the technologies available to today’s educator ARE simply encouraging the transfer of old learning models onto a computer, which MIGHT help students, but definitely AREN’T the future. With the scope of tech available to us now, we need to be exploiting it to innovate new and more effective ways to educate that weren’t possible when we were bound to chalkboards and number two pencils.

One of the most important ways we can do this is by leveraging tech to personalize learning for each student. To do this, we must begin with the end in mind – mastery. Most concepts progressively build on themselves until they can be understood as a whole. But if a student has trouble or learns one building block slower than their peers it could mean individual disaster as the schedule leaves them behind. Then a final grade comes - And it’s too late. The opportunity for mastery has passed them by because of a learning process that didn’t even attempt to meet their specific needs.

We need to stop waiting until the end of the journey to address a result less than mastery. Personalizing the learning experience means gathering information about each student’s successes and struggles in real time and addressing them immediately – never accepting anything less than mastery at each step in the process. When we can take the technology of today and use it to change the way we educate for the better, how can THAT fail?