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Preparing Educators for Technology Integration

In today’s 21st-century classroom, it is crucial for educators to be proficient in using technology to be maximally effective.

For this to happen, state education agencies and technology officers need to be proactive, according to “Born in Another Time,” a recent report by National Association of State Boards of Education. The report provides concrete recommendations for K12 administrators to ensure educators are capable of using technology in the classroom:

• Develop a tech plan. Instead of treating technology as a separate subject, state education agencies should develop a technology plan, spreading the use of technology throughout the education system. State boards should ensure that teachers are experienced in technology use before being hired, the report recommends. For a teacher, this means incorporating technology and digital literacy into lesson plans. State education agencies should mandate core curriculum training. Teachers should be exposed to clinical experiences, such as lesson planning, where technology and online learning are incorporated in preparing lectures that are given through conference calling and video chat software, for example.

• Monitor opportunities. State boards of education should monitor the opportunities that allow teachers and students from having online learning opportunities, the report recommends. These opportunities include supplemental classroom instruction and full time online programs. Allowing time for teachers to collaborate with colleagues on how to implement technology such as iPads is important. This is done through the scheduling of workshops by the administration. Collaboration brings new methods of implementing technology in the classroom and ensures continued effectiveness. Funding coaches that serve as technology experts is a way to keep teachers up to date with the latest education technology. With the help of these coaches, educators will learn to be effective with technology and how to personalize teaching methods for students.

• Partner with others. To eliminate budget strain, the report suggests that state boards of education should examine opportunities that districts have to partner with others to share resources such as computers and technology experts. This will help ensure every student has access to technology. After administrators implement technology into classrooms, they must put in place a plan to keep relevant in new technology, and maintain effectiveness. This is necessary because of the nature of rapid advancement in the world of technology.