Technology in education is no longer a noun


By Gary Shattuck, CIO Advisor
Education is on the same technology trajectory as business, only slower. In the past, technology was defined as a noun. School districts bought things: computers, servers, printers, and interactive whiteboards. They were trying to reach a point of saturation with these things so that teachers and students could experience a 21st-century education.

Today, education has shifted its focus on technology where now we are providing services to the teachers and students. The emphasis now is on cloud storage, web-based email, online collaboration, virtual desktops, BYOD, and other services. We are trying to provide students with an anytime, anywhere learning experience. We are trying to provide teachers with all the services they need to facilitate that anytime, anywhere learning environment. We are trying to provide teachers with the data they need about their students so they can be proactive in their teaching practices and personalize their instruction. In our present world in education, technology should be defined as a verb.

If this is true, and I believe it is, how will technology in education be defined in the future? In an online article for Business Insider, Greg Satell writes: “Technology will cease to be something we turn on and off, but will become an inextricable part of not only our environment, but ourselves.” If this is business’ technology trajectory then it is only a matter of time before it becomes education’s technology trajectory. In other words, educational technology will become the everything of anything. To articulate it more concisely, the definition of technology in the future will be “Technology is!”

Gary Shattuck is the director of technology and media services at Newton County Schools in Covington, Georgia.
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