Last week education was in the spotlight a bit as Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan took part in a back to school bus tour. The Department of Education reports that, "Throughout the tour, Duncan will be visiting classrooms breaking ground in closing the achievement gap, early education, school nutrition and safety and teacher recruitment." I really wish that he would also visit classrooms and schools that are using technology to enhance learning and teaching. If this did happen, I didn't see any videos or reports describing it explicitly. Sometimes I fear that because I am surrounded by like-minded educators and don't work in a K-12 environment on a daily basis that those outside of my circle do not buy into the value of technology in education. They see it as something to be feared and a management nightmare. Unfortunately, these perceptions persist because of a lack of knowledge about how technology can enhance learning.
Leaving technology out of a conversation about changing education is simply unacceptable. I do understand that technology without effective teaching doesn't transform education, BUT do we really expect to prepare students for a digital age in a technology deprived school? Does it make sense to teach technology as a seperate class once a week? Is it reasonable to assume students will learn how to navigate online in safe and responsible ways without help from schools?
Now that I have that out of my system, I'd like to thank all of you who are moving educaiton forward with the aide of technology. Many of you who read this blog are the formal and informal leaders in your school who are constantly seeking out ways to use technology to enhance teaching. I encourage you to continue to model, lead, collaborate and have conversations about this topic. You will have a battle with those who don't understand and fear this change, but you also have many allies who will and do support you.