If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, faster horses.
In our quest for educational relevancy and change, we tend to look for “faster horses” instead of meaningful innovation. Unfortunately, new technologies in schools can sometimes become ornaments or baubles, which create the appearance of a modern learning environment. But the new gadgets, do not the learning make!
As schools are outfitted with new technology they must be cautious not to superimpose the trappings of innovation, while maintaining the status quo. In this scenario, laptops become glorified notebooks and smart-boards overpriced projection screens. In all of our efforts for educational renewal, it is essential that the learning, not the gadget, is the goal.
But this is not a call to sideline technology in our schools. On the contrary, it is a call to embrace and harness all the powerful resources at our disposal including technology, in order to leverage and support learning. In addition to technology, schools are rich in many powerful resources which can be brought to bear. Of course the most powerful resource of all is human interaction: our teachers, our families, our students and our community.
Effective integration of technology can greatly facilitate student learning, and is essential in the twenty-first century school. But ultimately, it is the very human workings within each of our schools that will have the greatest enduring impact on our students.