Shawn Douglas

Monday - May 31, 2010

Are teachers ready for the tech change? I read an interesting article a few days ago on the Campus Technology Web site about the basic infrastructure of learning facilities and how they’ll likely have to change for full adoption of technology.

“What I think we are confronting now is that the core infrastructure of higher education, that’s been built over the past several hundred years, is really becoming a barrier to innovation in terms of what technology potentially can do to improve teaching and learning,” said Josh Baron, Director of Academic Technology and eLearning at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Baron went on to say that without dedicated education technology leadership, many education facilities aren’t going to be able to adapt their infrastructures. Without solid leadership and direction, tech in schools may simply lead to “pure automation of teaching and learning to the point where it’s just people on computers memorizing facts,” he added.

I hinted at this failing while talking about the technology facade a few weeks ago. Operators of learning centers must consider having some sort of education tech leadership, whether it’s an internal or external candidate. Without that, deployment plans, curriculums, and training may be lacking or absent, causing the implemented tech to fail in purpose.

But are there consistent methodologies to be adopted to meet the tech challenge? Robert McLaughlin, who works for the New Hampshire Department of Education, has pondered the same question.

“Many people talk about how schools and preparation programs need to change dramatically to meet the needs of 21st century students, but there isn’t any consensus about what that really means,” McLaughlin, who was also the committee chair for the recently held New Hampshire invitation summit for educators, told the Examiner.

Teachers from all over New Hampshire participated in the summit with the hope of gaining a clearer picture of the problems they face. This large-scale, statewide approach is at least a first step in the right direction. But for every New Hampshire, there are plenty of other U.S. states and schools that aren’t as keyed in to the issues.

Do you find that the educators in your area are ready to deal with change? Do they seem to understand the driving factors that may very well change the basic infrastructure?

(Photo used under Creative Commons attribution license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nesri/ / CC BY 2.0)