Fixing technology’s biggest failure

Cameron Evans, national and chief technology officer of Microsoft Education, shares new tips for implementing technology

fixing-technology-educationIn the last 30 years, schools have invested billions of dollars to deploy technology in classrooms with questionable benefit to students. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), found in 2013, 12th grade math and reading scores remained stagnant from 2009 and reading scores decreased since the first test in 1992.

In my travels to classrooms around the country, I’ve found the problem is not the technology itself–it’s both the gap between those who have access to it and those who do not, and how the technology is being used in a learning environment.

Today, technology offers incredible possibilities for students and our nation’s future; a recent Pew study, U.S. Views of Technology and the Future, found six in 10 Americans feel that technological advancements will lead to a future in which people’s lives are mostly better.

However, technology in many of our schools is years behind the present, or there’s just not enough. President Obama has made this a national priority; his ConnectED initiative seeks to solve this problem by connecting 99 percent of U.S. students by 2019. Our nation is at a place in time where this is achievable.

The challenge we face is connecting our students with technology while ensuring they gain the skills and knowledge to create their own opportunities and jobs that don’t currently exist. Our students, when properly educated, will propel us into the future of known and unknown possibilities. I call this the Total Creative Opportunity, or TCO.

(Next page: Embracing new change)

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