There has been a shift in the world of education that has created both new needs and new opportunities. The fact that many students now live their lives in a world in which technology is so pervasive has created a reality to which our educational systems must adapt. While, as Collins and Halverson note, “the school system has evolved to adapt to incremental changes,” (62) the world has been changing at an incredible pace. The time has come for students to be prepared for a new world and it is up to the educational systems to adapt and meet this need.
Edutopia points out that “The acceptance of change is a major requirement for technology integration.” Our educational system must begin to understand that change is not only inevitable, it also can be seen as an enormous opportunity. There is no doubt that many can see the need for our students to improve in order to keep pace with their peers from other nations. The National Education Technology Plan 2010 (NETP) makes clear reference to this point. Technology integration, when done properly, helps students to develop the skills they will need in their ever-changing world.
Moreover, technology goes well beyond need to opportunity. The rapid evolution of means of connecting with people from around the world has opened up possibilities that students and teachers of previous generation could not have imagined. Students today can play the role of learner and teacher. Their work can be shared globally, just as they can tap into resources of experts and peers throughout the world. Bonk points out that this “sudden trend towards sharing educational resources…is fueling change in education and opening new doors to optimism and human potential” (15).
Making technology an integral part of the learning process serves everyone. Students are able to learn to effectively and responsibly utilize various forms of technology in their lives to enrich their world experience. Teachers are able to better meet individual needs and to keep focus on learning rather than the plethora of tasks that pull them away from that objective. As a whole, the nation and the world become better able to connect and to learn from one another. The time to embrace the opportunity at our feet has come.
Bonk, Curtis J. The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print.
Collins, Allan, and Richard Halverson. Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press, 2009. Print.
Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-importance
Edutopia. (n.d.). Why do we need technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description
U.S. Department of Education. (2010) National Education Technology Plan 2010 Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010