At the annual Tech Forum New York this past fall, administrators gathered for a special luncheon designed to bring together top area school leaders to brainstorm ways to integrate edtech into schools better.* The districts represented ranged from small to large, from wealthy to economically challenged. Despite the varied demographics, many administrators had similar concerns about edtech. Here are some of what many felt were the most important topics in edtech today:
¦ Banning and filtering
¦ Funding tech
¦ Providing adequate bandwidth
¦ We need more collaborative work with local businesses and municipalities.
¦ We need more examples of real schools working with real tech.
¦ Get parents involved in the conversation about what is really happening in today’s schools.
¦ How do we avoid having these same conversations ten years from now?
¦ We need assessments that measure critical thinking.
¦ E-Rate is too challenging for many districts.
¦ Cell phones should be allowed in schools. Most panelists believed that this happening was a matter not of if but of when.
¦ What is the liability of the school in bring-your-own-tech programs? Some suggested a thorough acceptable use policy.
¦ Show school boards how the tech works through real demonstrations.
¦ Let everyone know that there will be problems when installing new tech.
¦ When we stop talking about tech, we’ll have reached our goal.
*In attendance were four New York State school superintendents (Michael McGill, of Scarsdale Public Schools; Rob MacNaughton, of Ramapo Central Schools; Christopher Clouet, of White Plains Public Schools; and Susan Guiney, of Mount Pleasant Central Schools) and one Massachusetts superintendent (Eric Conti, of Burlington Public Schools) as well as a number of technology directors and other district administrators.