No More Assumptions
In addition to professional learning, we must also be more critical of what we see and hear when engaged in the ed-tech debate. For technology to be taken seriously as a tool to support and enhance teaching and learning, we must no longer accept assumptions and generalizations as to what it actually does.
A primary goal of education should be to have students empowered to own their learning, create artifacts that demonstrate conceptual mastery, use their voice, be responsible in online spaces, and connect with the world in meaningful and authentic ways.
Both of us have served in various teaching and leadership roles, and we want teachers and administrators to utilize technology and innovative practices to improve teaching, learning, and leadership. However, the school leader in each of us also understands the need to balance this with clear, evidence-based results.
This is a reality for every teacher and administrator that cannot be ignored. It is important to show how students apply what they have learned in relevant ways that are aligned to the highest levels of knowledge taxonomy.
Listening to someone share how a particular tool has “transformed education” simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
Connecting Practices to Results
The next step is to connect practices to results that prove—beyond assumptions and generalizations—that technology positively affects teaching and learning.
It is important to remember that if teaching, learning, and leadership don’t evolve, technology and innovation will never have the type of impact we expect and that are possible. It is not a matter of if but when key stakeholders and decision makers will ask for indicators of evidence that illustrate positive effects on student learning outcomes, elements of school culture, and community engagement.
Let’s face it, they should be asking these questions already. The stakes are too high, and we need to develop students who not only are divergent thinkers prepared for college and careers but also possess the confidence and drive to follow their interests and passions.
Simply put, when integrating technology, there needs to be an ROI that results in evidence of improved student learning outcomes.
The notion of ensuring a “Return on Instruction” is one of the underlying premises to our new book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today, released with ASCD. School leaders from coast to coast are transforming their schools to better prepare today’s students for whatever they may face in the years ahead. Is your school one of them?
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Use #LT8keys to continue the conversation online.