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What is possible with technology?

Best ways to provide building blocks for successful implementations

Where should schools start when it comes to implementing technology?

As strange as this may sound, you have to start at the end, by which I mean determining the desired outcomes. If you start by debating Chromebooks or iPads, Microsoft Office or G-suite, laptops or tablets, your tech implementation won’t deliver on its full potential. You don’t want to have to adapt your curriculum to your technology. You want to determine how switching to a particular platform can fundamentally change teaching and learning by, say, improving math or ELA proficiency. Only by opening our minds to explore “what’s possible with technology” can we break away from the cookie-cutter models that so many technology and content companies continue to push.

How can educators get to the next level of technology-infused learning?

Experts knew 50 years ago that learning by listening, learning by reading and learning by watching were the worst methods of retention possible, all of which view the student as consumers of content instead of creators of content. Instead of listening to a lecture, we should engage in a meaningful discussion. Instead of reading about something, we should roll up our sleeves and do it. Instead of watching something, we actually should get up and teach others about it. Those are more active methods that foster content creation and higher-level thinking. We’ll get there when schools use classroom technology to move students beyond research and documents and presentations into collaborative project-based learning and immersive computing experiences.

How can emerging technology help inspire imagination and creativity in the STEAM space?

So many educators and industry experts are speaking about the importance of STEAM education, yet, too few students explore STEAM careers. That’s changing with the proliferation of hands-on makerspaces, robotics competitions, coding across the curriculum, 3D printing labs, and augmented and virtual reality applications, all of which are getting kids to think of STEAM as the cool thing to do. Plus, we’re starting to see industrial-quality STEAM technology enter high schools and CTE programs, which is helping excite students about entering STEAM careers.

Are security issues increasing as more technology comes to classrooms?

Most printers can be easily compromised. Malware can rewrite the firmware on most units, either by inserting an infected USB drive or by printing a seemingly harmless file with malware embedded in its print stream. Features such as self-healing BIOS, firmware authentication and continuous monitoring are print features often raised by IT security officials. But for most school systems, procurement staff aren’t versed in these issues, and unfortunately they can go overlooked.

What should school technologists expect from their solution providers in this regard?

Well, in security, it’s important to work with a partner that can help protect you against all the threats you face, including those posed by printers and other IoT devices. But beyond that, it’s important to be aligned with a provider that, like you, sees technology as a tool to achieve desired education outcomes, and who is committed to help you get there regardless of what devices you may or may not purchase. At HP, we’re proud to work with CDW•G in the education space because that is exactly the commitment they make to the schools they work with.

For more information, visit cdw.com/hpprinting