5 EdTech Takeaways from 2015 Superintendent-of-the-Year Katrise Perera
Posted by: Meredith May
Last week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. A. Katrise Perera, National Association of School Superintendents (NASS) 2015 Superintendent-of-the-Year winner, about her experience in education and future trends in EdTech. Katrise shared five takeaways:
Technology increases student engagement, and that alone accelerates learning in and of itself. If students are engaged in the content because of EdTech, then it is only natural that they will improve their knowledge base, too. I’ve seen it positively impact teachers in classrooms, too.
Technology makes teachers’ jobs easier by streamlining instruction. EdTech keeps them away from the copier because they can digitize, link information, or have students download learning resources they need without leaving the classroom or their desk.
Technology has opened up two-way communication between home and school. New communication tools allow teachers and parents to engage in a different mode. EdTech, if utilized to its maximum, allows parents to monitor their student frequently or “peek” inside the classroom at their convenience. I have been a part of districts where parents were pinged when grades or assignments were updated by the teacher. Now – that is real time monitoring. I am just glad all this technology wasn’t around when I was in school.
Access to information is the next big revolution in schools and society. I believe districts have to prioritize giving access to information to all the students it serves. This priority will continuously demand a change in teaching and learning, which I call Learning 3.0
Districts struggle most with budget and buy-in because they spend too much time thinking about the device and the cost as opposed to identifying strategically what they want students to learn. We have to begin with the end in mind, e.g., – Do we want students to learn to blog or do we want students to learn the skills of engaging others in written communication and/or raising awareness? That is a question every district leader has to answer before they pursue any EdTech initiative or purchase any software. Every district administrator and teacher leader needs to communicate clearly expectation to ensure implementation is being carried out with fidelity.