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.

Educational Technology Needs a Lesson Plan

I remember feeling very progressive when I purchased my daughter her first educational software, Reader Rabbit, in the early 1990s. Now a 22 year-old college graduate, she and many like her have never known a world without computers. Not only does she use an internet-enabled phone to constantly communicate, but her job as an emergency room nurse requires computer skills as well. So, needless to say, I am a strong proponent of using educational technology, both in the classroom and at home. Whether we like it or not – it’s a part of our daily lives now.

But that is only the first of a couple of reasons I support the use of technology with young children.

A second reason is that the use of educational technology in early education programs tends to level the educational playing field between those who have this access at home and those that do not. Being able to use computers and other technology at school can help all children develop the necessary life-skills needed in our technologically focused society.

Many experts recommend that all early childhood classrooms have an educational technology center that includes a computer, a printer, a digital camera, age-appropriate educational software, and access to the Internet. We would like to suggest that these centers also include a variety of educational DVDs and videos for those students who learn best with the added audio visual element that these mediums provide. Because children learn differently, at different rates, requiring different stimuli, when integrating technology into the lessons, it is important to plan to use all forms of technology – not just a few.

When creating such a technology center, here are some things to remember.

o Technology is not a replacement for the teacher. Technology elements, whether computers or educational DVDs and videos, are merely tools designed to help children learn. The teacher is still the guide.

o Consideration the applicable students’ age, developmental levels, and individual needs when selecting software, videos, and other technology.

o Don’t forget the parents. Collaborate with them and impart the importance of their involvement when their children are watching an educational television program or playing/working with computers.

o Monitor children’s use of all forms of technology that use earphones. Some research suggests that the volume at which children listen to the music can be extremely harmful.

In other words, what educational technology needs, to be properly integrated into the classroom is a good old-fashioned lesson plan.

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.