Learning Industry Leaders' Perspectives on #EdTech (As Seen in @USAToday)

Recently, Atomic Learning's CEO, Lisa Barnett, was interviewed on the state of educational technology in today's schools. Below is an excerpt from the article, Ed-Tech Pros Talk Education Transformation, as seen in USA Today.

How has technology transformed our way of looking at education?
Lisa Barnett: Kids have been using technology tools from a very young age to learn everything from counting to coding, which has created a generation of learners who are used to having information at their fingertips 24/7. The modalities they’re accustomed to are very interactive and tailored to their needs and interests. If these kids are asked to sit and listen to long periods of lecture in a classroom, how well do we think they’re going to respond? Education is transforming to respond to the needs of this new generation. Education is adapting to this new idea of personalized content. There are now many resources that offer different ways to learn the same concept, so if one method doesn’t work, another can quickly be found that will. Technology can also provide fantastic assistance in the area of accessibility and accommodations to even further meet the needs of individual learners.

How are technology products improving student outcomes in the classroom?

Lisa Barnett:Technology can be an amazing facilitator of differentiation techniques by providing additional resources and tools that will give teachers far more ways to differentiate for content, process, and product. We know that differentiated instruction can directly impact student outcomes as it tailors the educational experience to the needs of the students. Technology can also help efficiently measure student outcomes and analyze this information in new ways to provide the best learning experience possible for each individual learner.

How can teachers utilize technology in the classroom?
Kids have been using technology tools from a very young age to learn everything from counting to coding, which has created a generation of learners who are used to having information at their fingertips 24/7. The modalities they’re accustomed to are very interactive and tailored to their needs and interests. If these kids are asked to sit and listen to long periods of lecture in a classroom, how well do we think they’re going to respond? Education is transforming to respond to the needs of this new generation. Education is adapting to this new idea of personalized content. There are now many resources that offer different ways to learn the same concept, so if one method doesn’t work, another can quickly be found that will. Technology can also provide fantastic assistance in the area of accessibility and accommodations to even further meet the needs of individual learners.

How are technology products improving student outcomes in the classroom?

Lisa Barnett:Technology can be an amazing facilitator of differentiation techniques by providing additional resources and tools that will give teachers far more ways to differentiate for content, process, and product. We know that differentiated instruction can directly impact student outcomes as it tailors the educational experience to the needs of the students. Technology can also help efficiently measure student outcomes and analyze this information in new ways to provide the best learning experience possible for each individual learner. First and foremost, don’t force it and don’t make it about the technology. There’s been such profound pressure on teachers to integrate technology into the classroom that too often we lose sight of what we’re using it for. Just bringing a device into the classroom doesn’t accomplish anything.  But when technology becomes a partner in the learning process that aids teachers in personalized learning, it can be powerful.

If a student has reading or processing difficulties, using tools such as Google Images or Flickr to create a slideshow before reading can help that student make connections. Another example is Newsela, which allows a teacher to take the same article or story and easily adjust it to the various reading levels of their students.


How will technology continue to impact education in the next five years?
Lisa Barnett: Data will continue to have an ever-increasing role in education. By bringing together more and more data regarding students and their outcomes from the multiple sources of information available in a district, and by working work to analyze that data more deeply, educators will be able to truly personalize education at new levels and understand how to support all of their students.

Gain more insights from industry leaders, including Microsoft's Vice President of Worldwide Education, Anthony Salcitio; Lenovo's Chief Relationship Officer, Salvator Patalano; and others, read the full article.

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