EdWeek summed up pretty well the National Association of State Boards of Education’s (NASBE) most recent report on educational technology. The report focused on the state of educational technology use in our schools today and tomorrow. This report comes right when I am about to submit a term paper on technology leadership. (…Really?…Re…ally? Re….vision!) Some interesting issues are published that I feel like my voice has aired in many contexts — where is the leadership in educational technology integration?
As one of the “beta” digital natives, I have always felt like the guru around teachers more experienced than I. This, too, is where I have felt the most success in my career at times. It has been my (though limited) experience in schools that districts spend money on hardware and software, support it technically but then do not develop it into part of the classroom learning environment or school culture. This seems to be an evaluation that NASBE shares, too:
But the report also examines the extent to which many teachers, principals, curriculum specialists, and support staff lack the necessary familiarity with technology to make the most of it in classrooms. Lots of barriers exist to closing this gap, including steady teacher turnover, and a generation gap—the average age of principals is around 50, the report’s authors say, so “it will be some years before a large portion of school leaders are digital natives.”
This is the kind of report that puts to print a lot of things that I think teachers and leaders are realizing now, too. (It’s also the kind of report that looks like a good framework for a future blog series…) There are cultural shifts that a school needs to go through, but we need some more bridge-builders. Sign me up.