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How Do School Principals Feel About Technology?
For generations, children carried textbooks and learned from teachers who wrote on chalkboards or whiteboards. Now, that’s changing.
While textbooks and whiteboards remain common, the old educational standbys are now joined by a raft of technological innovations. These innovations have the potential to improve teaching methods and learning outcomes—but only if schools figure out how to choose the right technology and use it to the greatest benefit.
For principals, the task of integrating technology into the classroom isn’t always easy. Doing it well requires an ability to analyze the available technology and lead a school in the right direction. If you’re hoping to become a principal who can make the most of technology for your school, here are some things you should know.
There Is a Lot of Educational Tech
Classroom technology ranges from the straightforward to the more complex and includes:
- Classroom tablets and computer terminals.
- Learning software that adjusts to the individual learning needs of each student.
- Assessment software that measures and tracks student achievement.
- School-project software that allows students to complete and submit projects like research papers online.
- Apps that allow students to utilize their personal smartphones as part of in-class lessons.
- Social-networking-inspired platforms that facilitate teacher-to-student and student-to-student communication.
- Parent portals that include lesson information, progress updates, and ways to communicate with teachers and administrators.
- Lesson planning software that provides resources for teachers.
Ed Tech Isn’t Inherently Good or Bad
Technology is fundamentally a tool. And, like all tools, its usefulness depends on the needs of a given task. As such, educational tech can lead to good results or bad results, depending on what the technology offers and when and how it’s used.
Ed tech used well can:
- Allow teachers to be more innovative in the ways they teach.
- Provide students with more ways to engage with the subject matter and participate in learning.
- Simplify tasks, like learning assessments and the development and distribution of worksheets.
- Allow textbooks and other resources to be updated more frequently.
Ed tech used poorly can:
- Be more of a distraction than a benefit.
- Make learning overly complicated.
- Isolate students from each other.
- Cause students from disadvantaged families to fall behind due to a lack of technology at home.
Principals Are Generally Positive About Technology in the Classroom
Although educational technology can have its drawbacks, a 2018 Education Week Research Center (EWRC) survey of principals and other school leaders found that, nationwide, most administrators view technology as an overall plus for their teachers and students.1 Among the findings, the survey showed that most leaders consider technology a useful educational resource and believe students spend the right amount of time on screens in school.
The technological areas that most concern education leaders are ones that schools have little or no control over. According to the EWRC survey, a majority of school leaders are extremely concerned about social media use outside of school and many worry about cyberbullying. Many leaders are also concerned about whether students can properly gauge the reliability of online news. Going forward, schools and leaders will need to find innovative methods to minimize the ways technology can complicate students’ lives while maximizing the ways technology can complement learning.
You Can Help Your School Make the Best Use of Technology
If you want to lead your school on issues of technology, you should consider earning a Doctor of Education—specifically an EdD with an Educational Administration and Leadership specialization. Through an EdD program, you can gain the skills and qualifications necessary to make a substantive—and positive—change in a school or schools. And thanks to online education, you can earn your EdD degree without upending your life.
When you enroll in an online EdD program, you can stay where you are and complete your courses from home or anywhere else you have internet access. Plus, online education makes it possible for students to continue working full time, thanks to flexible scheduling. What is flexible scheduling? It’s a feature of online learning that allows you to choose when in the day you attend class, giving you the power to arrange earning your EdD degree around your other responsibilities.
Technology can provide enormous benefits to students and teachers—but only if the right leaders are in place. Through an online EdD program, you can become just such a leader.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Doctor of Education degree program online with a specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership (non-licensure). Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
1 Source: www.edweek.org/media/school-leaders-and-technology-education-week-research.pdf
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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