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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 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.

The plethora of exciting technologies available offers an amazing opportunity to educators and students alike. These tools engage students and provide a window to the world at large. 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 teach students skills needed for success in not only careers, but also 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)

Some advantages of technology integration include:

  • Providing access to a wide, diverse set of learning resources
  • Promoting a higher level of student engagement
  • Pacing learning to learner’s needs
  • Providing instruction tailored to student’s interests and learning preferences
  • Enhancing presentation methods
  • Allowing students immediate access to feedback
  • Providing improved assistance to students with physical or learning disabilities

However, the role of preparing students for their futures does not rely 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)

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