Integrating Technology in Education
From virtual reality to self driving cars, technology has taken over mankind’s day to day activities. School districts are now immersing different hardware, software, and curriculum’s to their strategic plans. Here’s a few ways a little farming school district in South West transitioned from paper and pencil to touch screen text books.
Are you aware of how many copies teachers make in a K-12 setting? A-LOT! Here’s a ballpark, about a million copies a year. Take into consideration how much money is taken out of the budget to provide paper, ink, copier machines, parts and customer service/repair. Most inner city schools do not have the means to provide teachers with the ability to make copies.
Having the ability to send a document to a student via the Internet is a heaven sent gift to educators. Not only does that give the copier machine a well needed break, but teachers no longer have to stand in line to make copies. Rush to the copier room during break. Or explain to her class why she has toner on her khaki pants. I think my favorite is not having to run down to the copier room because you are short a copy due to a new student.
A simple send to all button or platforms like Google Classroom allow you to post assignments. Students have the ability to log in, at school or at home, and complete the assignment without the excuse of “Mrs. Jones, my dog ate my homework.”
Out with the old, in with the new.
School districts spend over a million dollars in a single year purchasing new textbooks. Unfortunately, kids will be mischievous. And they begin to draw the famous “S” or tag the textbooks. Some enjoy ripping the pages, or my favorite using a sharpie to cross out the text. I feel bad for teachers because textbooks do not last long. And in overpopulated classrooms, there isn’t enough textbooks for everyone. This causes Mrs. Jones to run over to the copier machine to make copies.
Take a look at this. One single chromebook cost the same or less of a new textbook. What’s the difference? A new textbook is published every year. And depending on the state and testing requirement, this may be a recurring cost for some school district. Whereas a chromebook has the amazing World Wide Web where students can access anything and everything. Additionally, some published companies like McGraw Hill, offer online textbooks and resources with yearly updates. Back to our mischievous kids, they are capable of breaking the device. But good ol’ warranty is there to help. Purchasing devices versus textbooks is a total life saver. And we totally save more trees!
Back in the 90’s and even early 2000’s a group project called for a visit to the local library or coffee shop. The days of switching back and forth between internet searches and editing a word document, is long behind us. Platforms like Google Docs allow several people to collaborate at the same time. For students and educators this is equivalent to winning a Grammy. The fact that an educator does not have to wait to be face to face with a student in order to give them feedback is phenomenal. Students who attend school online or are out of town can still contribute in their classroom. Google classroom allows teachers to post assignments and allow students the opportunity to submit them. Unfortunately for students, being absent is no longer an excuse for not completing an assignment.
There’s so many reasons why Technology integrated in Education is amazing. But I believe the greatest take away is how quickly students grasp computer science. Platforms like Scratch and Hour of Code are teaching our future Engineers, Entrepreneurs and Innovators how to implement their ideas and create them through code.