Continuing the series of interviews with technology directors and integration specialists, who give their "state of the union," and their views on education technology in the future.
Dave Zukor, Elementary Technology Integration Specialist at Wayzata Public Schools ISD 284
“Technology is our primary means of research, communication and socialization. We’ve had to change the way our students interact with people. Ten years ago, we were isolated in our classrooms. Now, that’s not okay, and we’re forced to take on some of those things that make us a little uncomfortable: social networking, online collaboration. For our teachers, change is rapid. We have support limitations—two people support 1,000 teachers. Certain functions drop off our plate. For example, we just changed email systems and we didn’t provide training because we didn’t have the resources. We were busy with more topical, current challenges. When people had questions, our online training became a great, anytime, anywhere resource. For a long time now we’ve been telling our teachers: ‘You can’t let your own limitations hold you back from what your students are ready to do.’”
“Students are going to have more control over their own education. With student Internet access, schools will have to change because students don’t need us to give them the knowledge—they can go get it. We’ll provide guidance and a context around how that knowledge is useful in the world of the future, but students will pursue their interests and there won’t be one-size-fits-all schooling. We’ll also have access to a lot more individual student data to pinpoint student needs and address those quickly, without stopping what we’re doing. Having our online training resource to provide help to our teachers where and when they need it, mid-day with students or midnight at home—is tremendously helpful, broadens opportunities and helps our teachers become more comfortable with video or webinar learning. This will become the norm and in the next ten years, and we’ll be more able to exploit it.”
P.D. Tips courtesy of Atomic Learning