It’s time for an important conversation about how technology has impacted the role of administrators in an educational setting.
By Louise “Toni” Moore
The rapid development of computer technology has certainly changed the way we educate young learners. The Internet provides many opportunities—as well as challenges—for administrators, teachers, and parents. What conversations should you, as a Catholic school leader, be having with your teachers and parents?
Looking at the research on the increased use of new technologies in schools and its effectiveness yields mixed results. The use of digital devices offers immediate access to a greater number of resources, exposure to the most current information, and ease of connecting with other learners throughout the world. Some studies report that effective technology use can strengthen the understanding of concepts, stimulate more participation and enthusiasm for learning, and even increase test scores.
On the other hand, critics warn of dangers and shortcomings of technology use. It is important for administrators and policy makers to consider the fact that not all students have equal access to technology at home.
Teachers and students also need to be aware that the quality of information found on the Internet ranges widely. Acceptable-use policies and information-literacy training are key in helping students become responsible and informed consumers of information.
Technology in education is nothing new. From the days when the chalkboard was considered new technology to today’s use of mobile devices and the Internet, the effective use of technology as a tool for learning is a challenge.
How can you and your teachers, parents, and students make the best use of these tools? Open communication and dialogue are key.
If you haven’t already, start the conversation in your school community. Give everyone a voice. Encourage teachers to explore ways to integrate social media into classrooms. Make it a point to communicate regularly with parents about the advantages and the cautions related to the use of technology.
It’s time for this important conversation. Together you can make a positive difference for your school!
Louise “Toni” Moore, Ph.D., is an educational consultant at the University of Dayton.