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What technologies do YOU think can make the biggest difference in student learning?

by Kelly Walsh on September 21, 2011

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Please tell us about the types of instructional and education technologies that you think can make the biggest impact on education.

There is a good deal of controversy and debate still surrounding the question of whether or not technology can make a difference in the educational process. Here at EmergingEdTech, we’d like to approach this from a slightly different angle, changing the question from “Can technology make a difference in education?” to the more focused question, “Which technologies can make the biggest difference in education?”.

Image of question, which education technologies matter most

Towards that end, we are seeking input from our readers. EmergingEdTech will put together a survey to gather and organize educator’s perspectives on which of the endless array of technologies available to today’s educational institutions can really make a difference in the quality of education and the way students learn. We figured a good way to start is to first reach out and gather some initial feedback, so we can be sure to list all of the most meaningful, relevant technologies in the survey.  

This writer’s perspective is that making resources and information widely available may be what we should focus on first and foremost. This includes the use of tools like Course Management and Learning Management Systems, Lecture Capture, presentation tools, and other applications that can make learning materials available to students 24×7. These don’t have to be expensive tools (some, like Lecture Capture, can be, but there are an endless array of low cost and even free tools to organize and deliver educational content). Hand in hand with this is the need to continue the proliferation of mobile technologies to provide easy access to those resources. Students should be able to access assignments and learning content, and check on due dates and test scores and schedules at any time, from anywhere. For a bolder leap forward, educators should be striving to deliver more learning content outside of the classroom (as homework) and spending more of that valuable face-to-face classroom time reviewing and reinforcing that material. But this is just one person’s evolving perspective.

What do YOU think? Which technologies can really make a difference? Please comment and tell us what your experience and learning has taught you about this.

School districts and universities can continue to pour funds into devices and software year after year, but none of it is likely to matter much if there isn’t a clear goal and an organized plan to achieve it. It doesn’t seem that this trend is just going to dry up, so shouldn’t we be putting more effort into determining how best to allocate those funds? Please tell us what you think. Thanks!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
10 Internet Technologies Educators Should Be Informed About – 2011 Update
Education Technology Is An Enabler, Not A Magic Wand
Let’s stop misspending education technology dollars

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer and a faculty member at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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