Emerging Technologies in Schools

Vol. 14 No. 3

trustees eletter vol14 no3 technologyinschool

Private-independent schools must always consider how technology can be best used in the classroom. Your Board, controlling the purse strings through the strategic financial plan, must be mindful of the school’s needs concerning emerging technologies.In a competitive landscape, parents often consider how a school integrates computers and other learning technologies for their children. You don’t want your school to be perceived as “antiquated.”

An excellent source of current thinking on classroom technology is the NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K–12 Edition. The report “examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in schools.” The research that generated the report was jointly conducted by the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking. Although the report is geared toward public schools, the topics are also relevant to private schools.

Of particular interest is the second section of the report, “Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in K–2 Education.” This section focuses on teachers’ effectiveness with new developments in technology. Many of the elements discussed—blended learning, creating authentic learning opportunities, integrating technology in teacher education, personalized learning—require serious consideration in most of today’s private-independent schools. Key questions to ask include:

  • What is on the five-year horizon for technology at your school? In what areas are you up-to-speed? In what areas are you lacking? Charge your School Head to coordinate with the school administration (particularly Division Heads and Department Chairs) to research and assess current and future needs.
  • How are you training your faculty for emerging classroom technologies? Are funds available for professional development?
  • Are funds, policies, and leaders established for developing and utilizing new models?
  • What are the significant challenges your school faces that impede educational technology in your classrooms? What are the implications of innovative models on your curriculum and school climate?

The NMC Horizon Report is an excellent resource to help you understand the trends in educational technology. As you assess your school’s technological needs, the report provides, if nothing else, a launching point for your research and topics of discussion.

Additional ISM resources:
ISM’s Quick Tips Podcast: Leveraging Technology You Already Own
Research: Technology Integration Frameworks for the K–12 Curriculum

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 28 No. 8 Technology and Your Faculty’s Professional Development
I&P Vol. 35 No. 3 The 21st Century School: Curriculum and Technology
I&P Vol. 36 No. 16 The 21st Century School: Technology and Small Children

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