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Opinion: Schools Must Adapt to Rapidly Changing Technology

In a compelling opinion piece published in Education Week, Dr. Matthew Lynch, the author of A Guide to Effective School Leadership Theories and It's Time for a Change: School Reform for the Next Decade, says teachers must prepare for an onslaught of new technology that will revolutionize the K-12 classroom.

He warns that the way K-12 education is currently structured, public school administrators are not able to adapt quickly enough to changing technology, leaving both teachers and students in the dark:

Changes in technology policies often need approval. To bring in new equipment also requires budget approval - and actual money available in the budget. All of this red tape takes time and time is not a friend of technology.

While colleges and universities, even public ones, move to adjust rapidly to advancements, K-12 institutions are just the opposite. This is a disadvantage to students, teachers and our culture as a whole. For technology to truly make an impact, the barriers in its way in public schools need to come down. This will require a shift in attitude at all levels of K-12 decision-making and forward movement at a rapid pace.

He recommends that K-12 administrators embrace the rapid pace of education-technology development, and move fast to incorporate developments in a few key arenas.

For example, while teachers have long banned students' smartphone and tablet use during school hours, he advises they instead initiate Bring Your Own Device programs to use the students' personal technology to a teaching advantage. Bringing tablets into the classroom allows teachers to use powerful technology in a cost-effective way, as schools won't have to spend as much as they would to purchase, support, and upgrade tablets to keep up with the pace of technical evolution.

Parents and educators, what do you think? Do you like the idea of schools quickly adopting new tech-focused models of learning, or do you have concerns?

Azi