Page 4 - THE Journal, May/June 2018
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Editor’sNote David Nagel, Editor-in-Chief
Teachers Optimistic About Tech to Advance Learning
TEACHERS ARE CRAZY about access, spotty WiFi, desktop computers
technology. That, at least, seems to be the and printers, wired networks, clunky
case with the teachers who participated in CMSes and LMSes, grading software,
r: 41
this year’s Teaching with Technology survey old laptops, DVD players (!) and fax
(results on page 8). machines (!!). There’s still a fairly sgtro: ng1 1 0 b: 146
More so than ever, teachers are enthusi- sentiment against cell phones among astic about technologies for teaching and teachers, but more teachers than ever learning and optimistic about the future. seem to be coming on board. Teachers are They even seem to think their administra- also concerned about equity issues in the tors have a halfway decent vision for the distribution of education technology. implementation of ed tech! (Well, three- So what technologies are educators look-
quarters of them do, anyway, though 16 percent are somewhat or very doubtful about their administration’s
vision for technology in
In fact, teachers are
looking ahead to technologies that don’t merely replicate chalkboards and textbooks and other traditional classroom trappings but that take the classroom beyond the old.
Said one insightful educator: “Much of our technology today is used as simply an upgrade or replacement of traditional learning tasks (e.g. writing, reading/ research, presentation, etc.). Today’s learners need to go beyond productivity use and learn to use technology to
create new products and solutions to the problems of today’s world.”
That educator wasn’t alone. When asked which technologies they’d like to see expelled from school, the most common responses showed a desire to eliminate digital tech that merely replicates old tech. Interactive whiteboards? Gone. Document cameras? Gone. Non-interactive projec- tors? Gone.
There was also near-universal agreement that older tech and poorly implemented tech needs to be eliminated: slow internet
ing forward to?
Responses in our survey really
highlighted the student as creator. The top responses were artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, 3D modeling and printing, robotics, and animation and video editing.
According to one educator, “Technology
is essential to survival in the modern day work
force. The ability to use technology goes beyond typing a paper or doing formulas in a spread sheet. It’s the ability to think convergently and divergently. It’s the abil- ity to apply known algorithms to novel situations. It’s the ability to work together collaboratively and cooperatively, to be effective and efficient.”
The biggest hurdles, then, seem not to
be the teachers’ tech skills or unwillingness to adapt, but rather the inability of budgets and IT to keep up with their needs. As one teacher put it: “District-wide there are so many bottlenecks, uneven distribution of re- sources, outdated equipment and conflicting policies that in my school I am unable to use technology as much as I would like.”
To continue the conversation, e-mail me at
May/June 2018 : Volume 45, No. 3
Editorial Advisory Board
Elisa Carlson
Director of Instruction, Curriculum and Innovation, Surrey Schools (British Columbia, Canada)
Julie Evans
Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow
Geoffrey H. Fletcher
Private Consultant
Ann Flynn
Director of Education Technology & State Association Services, National School Boards Association
Phil Hardin
Director of Project IMPACT, Iredell-Statesville School System (NC)
Christopher Harris
Coordinator, School Library System, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (NY)
Cathy Hutchins
Principal, South Woods Elementary School, St. John’s County School District (FL)
Thomas C. Murray
Director of Innovation, Future Ready Schools, Alliance for Excellent Education
Erin Wilkey Oh
Executive Editor, Education Marketing, Common Sense Education
Mark Stevens
General Manager, NEA Academy
Donna Teuber
Team Leader for Technology Integration, Richland School District Two (SC)

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