Science

What Part Does Technology Have to Play in the Future of Education? (Part III)

This blog post is the third in a series concerning technology in education stemming from the Jean Piaget Society Conference I attended in June. The theme of this year’s conference was “Technology and Human Development.” It provided a venue to discuss technology through a variety of different academic disciplines and research frames of reference all centered around the theory of constructivism.

In the last several decades, digital technology has become a central part of the discussion within education. A historical inclusive reference on technology is Paul Saettler’s book, The Evolution of American Educational Technology (1990). Since this book was published in 1990, the landscape has drastically changed regarding technology and our personal interaction regarding its use. With the exponential change in technology has come enormous frustration and anxiety among teachers regarding the learning and use of technology in the classroom. The world of technology is constantly changing and using it efficiently, effectively, and confidently is always a difficult task for a teacher to master.

So, what is the future of educational technology in the classroom? How do we train teachers to be effective digital natives? How do we deal with the continual problem of technology inequality across schools and districts? My contention is that whatever “device” a teacher is trained on in college or in their pre-service program, it will soon be replaced by some other new gadget within a few years. Instead of teaching or learning on a specific device, therefore, I believe that we should focus on the idea of universal access and utilizing the cloud for social learning in the classroom. The future of educational technology is not about one specific device, but it is about access to global information and global connectivity. The continual IT battle school districts’ fight concerning updated software installation, file storage, and servers is almost over. The battle is now shifting toward an equitable, robust infrastructure. I believe the future of educational technology will be all about equity and access to both the cloud and fast, reliable internet connectivity instead of devices. With the cloud, we all have access to global information and “big data,” and it is changing the way we all learn in the classroom. From online homework, instant content access, blended classrooms, and even flipped learning, the cloud has already begun to change the educational landscape.

The one thing we can depend on when it comes to educational technology is that change will be continuous and inevitable. As teachers, it is difficult to imagine what our classrooms will look like 20 years from now. But what about 5 years from now? In the final installment of this blog series (part IV), I will try and look ahead and examine the implications of the next level of technological advancements in the classroom.

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What Part Does Technology Have to Play in the Future of Education? (Part II)

I have been exploring the idea of technology in education since attending the Jean Piaget Society (JPS) Conference in San Francisco in early June. The theme for the 2017 conference was Technology and Human Development. In my last blog post, I reflected on the increasing rate of change in technology and how that exponential change… Continue Reading

What Part Does Technology have to Play in the Future of Education? (Part I)

The major theme of the Jean Piaget Society annual conference in June was Technology and Human Development. Since attending the conference, I have been part of several fascinating discussions that I would like to explore concerning the future advance of technology within education. In his book Singularity, Ray Kurtzweil talks about how human beings are… Continue Reading

Attending a Jean Piaget Society (JPS) Conference

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to attend the 47th Jean Piaget Society (JPS) Conference held in San Francisco. This annual conference brings together an intriguingly diverse group of individuals interested in the psychologist Jean Piaget and his prolific work in the area of constructivism and childhood cognitive development. At this conference, you can… Continue Reading

Personal Perception of Reality

Teaching science I often wonder how my students perceive the physical world as they delve deeply into science concepts. It is often assumed that our personal perception of the world around us is the same from one person to the next. Yet current cognitive research indicates that we have far more “senses” than the five… Continue Reading

Musings on the 2017 NARST Conference

Last week I attended the conference of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching or NARST in San Antonio, Texas. This is an annual conference that brings together researchers in science education from around the world. I am always surprised at the international aspect of this conference. A person is just as likely to… Continue Reading

Piaget’s Water Level Task

While it might seem obvious that living in a three-dimensional world would require a certain amount of innate spatial abilities, it is less obvious in how this spatial ability informs science and math learning. Current research in visuospatial ability does show that children who have an understanding of how shapes fit together, and can see… Continue Reading