When Does "EdTech" Just Become Education?
The impact of technology on education is a question as old as the first television, and by now the debate is moot. Technology is in schools to stay. The edtech sector is thriving, and today’s students do not know a life without smart phones, tablets, or Facebook. The lines are blurring and the time is now for “edtech” to become simply “education.”
But in spite of cutting-edge edtech innovations, education is not there yet. Schools are not innovative at their core. Even schools that can afford to invest in modern technologies—which is the minority—have classrooms that operate much like classrooms of decades ago. Teachers, administrators, and technologists will only be able to foster great education when they stop applying technology to an antiquated system. Learning models, school infrastructures, and commerce need to fundamentally change, which is a complex mission risking much of what traditional learning upholds. Are we up to the challenge?
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- Why now is the time for a paradigm shift around technology in education? Technology has been hailed as a game-changer in education for decades, but there is a sense that the movement is finally happening. What is different?
- How can technology support great education? Edtech is a thriving industry, but the innovations are mostly failing to meet the demands of quality learning. What unique advantages does technology offer to create and support better learning opportunities in school, and how can educators capitalize on those?
- What innovations within the school system are necessary to create better learning with technology? The classroom of today looks much like it did fifty years ago. What systems and structures—financial, governmental, commercial—need to change to realize the potential of edtech?
Kara Burritt, Programs & Communications Manager, World Wide Workshop