2.1 – State of Technology in Education

I have recently changed districts within my community and it has been very interesting to see the differences between both the type of technology in classrooms and how it is used.  For hardware, my previous board mainly used Apple computers, Promethean interactive whiteboards, Chromebook carts within Div II to Div IV, and iPads in Early Learning and Div I.  My current board uses mainly PC computers, Smartboard and Epson interactive whiteboards, Dell Laptops and full PC labs in Div III and IV, Chromebook carts in Div II and III, and iPads in Early Learning and Div I.  It’s been interesting making the switch away from the hardware I became comfortable with over the 15 years I was with my original district.  Just using a PC computer vs an Apple has been an especially challenging, and at times frustrating, endeavor.

As for how technology is used, both boards really aim to use technology to encourage student engagement, adapt resources for students with special needs, as well as create environments where students are empowered to be active participants in their learning.  In the early years, young students are often using iPads as part of their balanced literacy program and teachers are using interactive whiteboards as a way to promote engagement in whole class activities.  Once students reach Division II there is an increasing use of GAFE tools.  Teachers are using Google Classroom to deliver content, communicate with students and manage assessment.  Students are also able to use tools such as Read&Write, Texthelp PDF Reader, and EquatIO in order to make resources more accessible.

Lastly, we are beginning to see more STEM type technology available in both districts.  At the elementary level,  there are coding clubs where students are participating in the Hour of Code and Code Academy.  Elementary students are also working with Dash, Dot and MiP robots.  At the secondary level, there are also coding clubs where students are working on advanced coding skills and both districts have active robotics programs.  High schools are also using tech in engineering simulation and health science labs as well as in Career and Technology Studies classes to simulate real-world job experiences.

Overall, I think both districts in my community have good forward momentum when it comes to providing and using technology.  Teachers are seeking out and participating in increasing amounts of professional development which focus on the use of tech in the classroom.  Also, both boards consistently send tech leaders to provincial tech engagement sessions and conferences such as the Google Summit and Convergence.  The one area I feel we need to continue to focus on is digital literacy skills.   Like most boards, we continue to deal with the challenges facing today’s youth in regards to social media and online content and having the tools and skills to support students navigate these waters is increasingly important.

1 thought on “2.1 – State of Technology in Education

  1. Hi Abbi,

    It sounds like both your districts had a fairly substantial amount of technology integration. I agree that shifting between Windows and Mac OS can be challenging. When I was at UVic we had Windows desktops and MacBook laptops and we were required to keep up to date in both platforms.

    Now I think the issue is decreasing as we use tools (like GAFE, Moodle or Kahoot) that are web-based and will work the same regardless of platform.

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