The Role of Technology in Improving K-12 Education

Like most people, I live in a school district that features an administration and staff that really care about students and about building their own skills as educators. They care about the community and about engaging with parents.

One initiative in the works in our district is an investment in technology to encourage educators to better use active problem-solving-based instruction.

At least, that’s what the initiative sounds like. In reality, I think it’s much better than that. I believe the effort is focused on supporting educators’ use of active problem-solving-based instruction and providing the education and tools, including technology tools, that can help.

The last two paragraphs sounds like they describe the same thing–more technology and more problem-solving-based instruction, but one leads with technology, the other with pedagogy. The distinction is critical because leading with technology makes adoption of technology the end goal.

Technology is not a goal in and of itself; it is an enabler for higher level goals. The higher level goals are the ones that need to be embraced. If they can be achieved without an investment in technology, great. If an investment in technology will advance the goal meaningfully, let’s do it. The critical piece is to stay focused on the end goals and not let achievement of the enabling goals alone be the criteria for success.

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