“It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame.” – Marshall McLuhan 1955
As the landscape of our technologically-based lives rapidly changes, it is no longer enough to be prepared for the environments of today. Instead, it is necessary to be adaptable to the unknown careers and technologies of the future. It is essential for schools to prepare students for the challenges they will face in a world unimaginable at present. To this end, schools must accept change and embrace the necessity of technology. “Technology can enable transforming education but only if we commit to the change that it will bring to our education system.” (NETP, 2010) We must ask, “Do we ignore the informal learning enabled by technology outside school, or do we create equally engaging and relevant experiences inside school and blend the two?
Advantages of incorporating technology by trained instructors produces learning environments that, “provide all learners—including low-income and minority students, English language learners, students with disabilities, gifted and talented students, early childhood learners, adult workforce learners, and seniors—with engaging and empowering learning experiences.” (NETP, 2010) These tools provide a window to the world at large, and can develop inquisitive, creative, resourceful thinkers; informed citizens; effective problem-solvers; groundbreaking pioneers; and visionary leaders. (NETP, 2010) Moreover, “21st-century competencies and expertise such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication [can] be woven into all content areas.” (National Education Technology Plan, 2010)
By accepting and welcoming technology, educators will focus student’s skills needed for success in life. Students will have access to immediate, accurate information and learn methods of collating, organizing and displaying their knowledge. “Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally.” (NETSS, 2007)
However, the role of preparing students for their futures does not lie solely on the shoulders of teachers and their students. Government officials, administrators, technology developers and parents must work together to allow equal access to computers, the Internet and programs to promote an atmosphere of learning. By accomplishing this, we can “help students prepare to work, live, and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities.” (NETSS, 2007)
- International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). National Educational Technology Standards for Students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students.aspx
- United States Department of Education. (2010). National Education Technology Plan. Retrieved from
- Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description
- Lick, D. W., (2001) Leading Change: Creating the Future for Education Technology. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2001/12/leading-change-creating-the-future-for-education-technology.aspx
- McLuhan, E., & Zingrone, F. (Eds.). (1997) Essential McLuhan, New York: Routledge.
- http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010 national education Technology Plan 2010