It’s been over 20 years since technology made it’s way into my classroom and my life. The promise was that technology brought the world to my students, made my job as a teacher better, and allowed for preparing my students for their future. So, why is it we are now two decades into education technology and students are still not being prepared for their future? In reality, I’m tired. I’m fed up, worn out and ready for change! There are technology jobs available and not enough qualified people to fill them. By the year 202o IT jobs will grow 22%, and the education industry simply isn’t getting our students ready.
Now, just to be fair, it’s not all bad in education. Teachers are doing better at getting their students ready for state and national high-stakes tests. Administrators are getting better at collecting and reading data from those tests while holding teachers accountable for results. State departments of education are getting better at reporting data collected from those tests and student information systems. Families are getting better at evaluating communities using the data states report. And yet the achievement and equity gap remains and in some cases is getting wider. Compliance, conformity, and focusing on test results are all innovation killers. Being good at school, knowing how to ace tests, and working with specific narrow perimeters is not future ready.
Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a nation to create an education industry that leads in innovation. We have the tools, the data, the research and the people to make our schools the kind of place where students are knocking down the doors to get in. Where classrooms, buildings and districts provide the inspiration our future needs. Where curiosity is sparked, fanned and flamed into empowerment. Yet, our schools are using those tools to simply replace paper/pencil. In some cases it’s used for creating, programing and innovating (that should be the norm). The data focuses on skills that can be measured by multiple choice tests, instead, it should be used to measure how individuals learn, their talents, interests and how they use their skills to improve their abilities. Research has shown that when technology is integrated on a deep level and teachers are expected to be innovative the culture of that school changes to a collaborative, strengths-based environment. Students discover their love of learning, passions are fostered and talents are unleashed. Change is an opportunity to do something amazing – Be amazing. Our future depends on it!
This post is in collaboration with #IMMOOC ~George Couros “The Innovator’s Mindset”