The Biggest Opportunities and Challenges Facing Education
At Compass Learning, we take education seriously. However, we also know that “serious” doesn’t have to mean always operating by the proverbial book. So when Compass Learning attended The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Diego this June, we decided to pair serious learning with serious interaction. Instead of just shaking hands and exchanging business cards, we conducted interviews and asked attendees: “What makes for a successful technology integration in the classroom?”
From their answers, we confirmed that technology is the norm in education; 100 percent of the 43 educators we interviewed (40 percent of whom are teachers) said that technology plays a part in their school or district. The use of computers and iPads has surpassed Smart Boards three-to-one according to respondents. Thirty percent of those interviewed said that the unlimited resources and information available through increased technology in the classroom is the biggest opportunity for education. Twenty-one percent were excited, too, by the prospect of students taking ownership of their education by using technology to create knowledge. However, the increase in technology is not completely struggle-free; 37 percent said a big challenge to education is an increased need for professional development. They want to best utilize technology, but need additional training to do so. Finally, the lack of funding and resources available for education was cited, at 35 percent, as a close second for the biggest challenge facing education.
It is clear that the future success of our students, teachers and districts will be incumbent upon the successful use of technology to create 21st century learning environments. The attendees at ISTE overwhelmingly embrace the need to implement technology. However, selecting technology that supports strong academic outcomes, as well as training teachers to use technology to engage students that are digital natives, can be a challenge. That’s one of the reasons we’ve made it a priority to support our personal learning solutions with the most comprehensive professional development program in the industry. We want to help teachers fully embrace the technology available to them so that they are empowered to engage students in learning anytime, anywhere.
Educators, do you agree with our findings? We want to hear your thoughts about the biggest opportunities, as well as the challenges facing education. Share your comments below.
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