Category: General

Although technology CAN provide a useful and occasionally powerful instructional aid -- and despite countless research papers written and dollars invested -- we have yet to witness a significant leap forward in terms of technology helping to make teaching and learning more efficient, effective, and FUN. Sometimes the "tools" we're presented with can just be more complicated and create more work!

Similarly, massive investments in IT infrastructure alone will not correlate to equivalent gains in productivity. The only way to realize the potential is to "retool" to fully utilize the technologies that are available now.

One possible hurdle is that many educational "system" technologies focus outside the education process -- the external results as shown in test scores and other measurements. Measurement is needed and invaluable, certainly! But it's likely that the much heralded leap forward will come as technology tools are applied -- by educators -- to the educational process itself.

This is a strategic decision on the part of every district and school, and it requires buy-in from individual classroom teachers. The answers will be different in each locale, and luckily there won't be a single correct a, b, c, or d choice!

The ST is helpful in terms of state standards alignment and demonstrating "accountability," sure; but that is hardly the only usefulness of a web-based curriculum toolset. The Toolbox is designed to help teachers and administrators spend LESS time interpreting "data" and focus instead on real-life teaching methods and strategies. Countless studies have shown that more time devoted to individualized instruction and the "soft" skills that can't be quantified makes the greatest difference to a young learner.

Good instructional technology should facilitate LESS time spent lesson planning, curriculum mapping, and wading through instructional resources, in order to create MORE time for what matters most in the classroom -- the thoughtful attention dedicated to each student.