Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day 17: My Blogging Challenge

Welcome to day 17 of my blogging challenge. In case you missed what it's all about, you can read more about it in Day 1.

Today's Challenge: What do you think is the most challenging issue in education today?

I think some of the most challenging issues are the ones we make ourselves that can be avoided. There are plenty of issues I see that I would love to fix, but I'll focus on issues in EdTech.

In a recent meeting with my vertical leadership team, we were asked to address how we, instructional technology specialists, can help reduce the gap between low-SES students' test scores and the general population. In my own experience, I've seen a huge disconnect in views on solutions. On one hand, we need to get equity within technology. However, on the other hand, we need to understand that technology is not a fix-all.

Right now, I'm seeing districts pouring technology into students' hands, but not also adding personnel positions to support that. Many forget that it's not innately the technology that solves the problems. Rather, it's the people who administer the technology.

In dealing with gaps between student scores, my immediate fix is to get those students more 1:1 time. Yes, better access to technology is important. But, even more important is surrounding them with more personnel support to administer that technology. Unfortunately, with that comes cost concerns.

It's not the technology that fixes things. It's the people behind the technology that fix things. We need more of both, but first, we need more trained personnel. Finding this balance is key.

What is the most challenging issue in education to you?

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