One of my take-away of in readings ofthis semester is the document: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education. The document was published by the Office of Educational Technology (OET) in 2017. It highlights a well-grounded philosophy of educational technology in the United States of America. Coming from Rwanda, where there educational technological is still now on a stage of plans and wishes, this document has deeply moved my passion of accompanying and educating the 21st Century learners, as I take advantage of the post-modern technologies with an enlightened innovation and creativity in the perspective of learning and instruction. The following paragraphs echoes key points I have kept.
First, the classic way of learning and teaching need to be accommodated to the emerging technologies and communication. There has been a time where people taught in classrooms with chalks, notebooks and blackboards. Time is progressively shifting and elsewhere it has already shifted. Learners and instructors need to appreciate the usefulness of educational technologies today and incorporate them in their professions.
Second, with a variety of educational resources available today, we should not overlook challenging educational and technological divide among individuals and educational systems. Strategies need to be thoroughly designed and implemented. I would mention economic divide, infrastructural burdens, Gender racial divide, and problems of privacy and security. Such disparities need to be addressed and hopefully be rooted out. One of the troubling challenges is the continuing technological tools on the market, however disproportional with equitable and available instructors effectively using and teaching them in different learning environments.
Third, there is a dire need to envision technologies and its utilization with wider lens, that is its availability, its usage, especially within educational setups.This to be achieved, governmental, and civil organizations working for and with learning institutions are to put in place required resources to make possible technology educational tools and to empower educators to use and teach them. This should be done in a way that educational technologies are available, and geographical and financially accessible to each and all learners.
Fourth, educational technologies will tremendously advance our society as they are being used in schools. One of the examples is how educational technology is facilitating how to study sciences. Today there are multiples resources online to learn applied and pure sciences. Among many resources, I would highlight https://esciencelabs.com, which helps educators to share and collaborate Syllabus and so design science class. I would mention also https://www.labster.com/try-now/ which can help learners to simulate Labs works as they prepare to go in physical labs. I would stress on collaborative resources such as https://creativecommons.org which a bank of images one could use without being sued by Copyright laws. I would also not forget https://www.skillscommons.org, which an important free and open digital library for workforce training materials. There is more. Yet there is a dire need to conduct deeper research as how educational technology is related to effectiveness. There is a need also to conduct research to get to know more on how science could be easily taught and learnt, how it could experiment, and how science and technology can be more integrated in educational and social environments. Some of the questions need to be addressed: What are the effective educational technologies to be used in today’s education? How could educational technological tools be designed to better help learning rather than distraction? How could learning devices be designed in a way that correspond to stages of development? Who should use such a device and how? How does the use of technology devices affect kids’ health? How to address its misuse? And most importantly, how could educational technology devices be owned and used by each and all, and equitably?
Fifth, there is a big gap between the designed technological learning systems and technology trained educators. As technology continues its exponential growth, we may have technology well-equipped learners and teachers, but rare effective users. The evidence is a number of available Apps people have on their phones with a little number of people who productively using them. It is urgent to collaboratively, on the behalf of individuals, institutions, administrators and educators, to work with a shared vision that empower educators to adopt best methods of learning and teaching shaped by inspiring and engaging EdTech tools.
Sixth, I would like to thank my professor Dr.Joy Lopez.She did not only become an incarnation of this Reimagined Educational Technology here at the University of San Francisco and in many schools worldwide, but she also helped me to give more value on the power of imagination, innovation and creativity, which are key in taking technology from devices and from papers into our our lives, for more service, more love, more justice.