Education Technologies – Who is Training the Trainers?

Today, it is not unheard of for schools to have access to many varied types of education technologies. Many public school systems are able to use interactive whiteboards, laptops, wireless slate devices, software, amplification systems, and document cameras to support learning for their students.

While having the ability to teach students about technology and its use is wonderful, general education teachers are being asked more regularly to teach the students about a myriad of technology items. What if the teachers know no more (or perhaps know less) than the students to which they are to be teaching? This could serve as a challenge for students and teachers.

Many states currently have, or are working on, putting technology standards into place at all public school levels. These standards serve an important purpose. While we want children to be able to learn about technology, making sure there is a scope and sequence is just as important. Teaching young elementary kids how to use a keyboard and mouse will be just as appropriate as instructing middle schoolers about online predators and internet safety. By having specific topics at each grade level that are developmentally right, teachers can make sure that there are no earning gaps for the children.

Having qualified staff to educate our children is also an important consideration. When the regular education teak her is asked to fulfill this role, he may not feel technology literate himself. If the instructor is from an older generation, she may be intimidated and not be able to accurately teach the subject if not trained properly. If districts are expecting teachers to introduce technology standards, they should also be prepared with additional staff development opportunities at every level for all to partake. It is only fair to the instructor and the students.

With so many new online etiquette rules, keeping up with the children becomes quite a task for anyone who works with them on a daily basis. Many times, students are more technologically advanced than the leader of the class. This poses a problem in many ways. Teachers must step up to the challenge of trying to stay one step ahead of the game by reading trade journals and asking technology directors within their district for the latest technology news. Being educated about trends will keep adults ready to approach this new learning avenue with confidence.

Staying Ahead With Educational Technology

As technological organizations keep hitting the consumer market with various types of advances, it is essential to keep abreast of the latest pads, pods and perks available. Many regions require their schooling establishments to adopt the approach of incorporating computers as part of the educational system. Also known as educational technology, this subject has been the catchword since the abacus and calculator made their appearance a while back as the next best in advanced learning systems.

Although computers are toted to be the man’s new best friend, one still needs to incorporate intelligence into its usage as it remains no more a tool than a blender. Understandably, it is able to perform a whole lot more than a kitchen appliance but it only functions as well as it is intended to so long it is put to good use. Whatever advances made into artificial intelligence is still man-made. As the saying goes, the creation is only as good as its creator.

Employing teaching methods in accordance with educational technology, educators are able to utilize computing devices to paint a learning environment which can generate interest whilst imparting knowledge. Simply put, expounding on a science experiment from the pages of a textbook only presents it in a single dimension, two at most. By employing techniques incorporating more advanced technological means, students is brought to a higher plane of comprehension as they are presented a multi-dimensional view of the same topic. Complicated topics can also be touched upon as some cannot be reproduced in real life due to associated hazards or lack of resources.

The responsibility of trainers in this field is to apply skills towards generating moreadvanced learning systems. By employing their leadership role towards forging ahead to create and adopt better learning techniques, the assurance of producing a more learned generation is thus a step closer towards realization.

Educational Technology Promotes Visual Literacy

Visual literacy is the ability to analyze and derive meaning from information presented in image form. Under this definition, images can be “read” and through the process of “reading” these images, meaning can be derived and subsequently communicated.

One of the seven recommendations made in a report from the Office of Educational Technology (U.S. Department of Education, 2004) for continuing to improve the use of technology in schools is a distinct move toward digital content.

Moving Toward Digital Content

Anyone that has had a student in college recently knows first-hand that textbooks are becoming more expensive each semester, not to mention how quickly they become outdated. A move toward increased use of education technology and its digital content (multimedia and online information), and away from such textbooks, offers many advantages. In addition to the cost savings, it also means improved accessibility, increased efficiency, and enhancing learning opportunities in a format that engages today’s internet-focused students.

Because of the unprecedented rate of recent advances in educational technology, this move toward digital content also means that educators must increasingly promote visual literacy as indispensable to day-to-day life. Educators are just beginning to recognize the importance developing students’ visual literacy so they may survive, communicate, and succeed in a highly complex world.

Preparing Students for the Workplace

The DOE report makes it clear that educational technology consists of a set of strategic resources that improve a student’s “ability to sense, measure, question, understand, communicate, and learn.” These resources enable students to become scientists, focused on active learning, rather than passive consumers of textbook-delivered content. Students find it easier to learn core concepts because they are offered visual representations of ideas that provide more precision and clarity. Boring, passive memorization of content transforms into a dynamic, hands-on investigative process that exposes them to many of the same tools and processes that they will encounter in the workplace as adults.

Teaching visual literacy in the classroom means providing activities for students to critically analyze the images presented to them through media. It also means equipping students with the tools they need to present their work in a way that effectively communicates the content. More and more students are looking for educational technology to enhance their individual learning environments. As educators, it is our duty to provide it.