I asked around to the teachers at my school and got a few similes that reflect their thoughts on technology.
Here they are…
GIF is to PNG as pixel is to megapixel
Technology is to children as air is to all of us!
Tech is to teaching as icing is to cake
iPads are to student engagement as parties are to birthdays
While I liked many of the responses what I found interesting is that despite this being in the heart of our schools testing window not one of the similes referred to assessment, or data collection. In fact all of the answers were a positive look at technology in schools. Yet, so often this is where we get bogged down with technology. Our school has recently purchased laptops for assessment and by next year we have to have 90 laptops up and working for the assessments our students will be taking in the coming year. We are using massive amounts of our school tech bond budget to support this need and yet assessment isn’t even mentioned when staff members are asked what technology is bringing to education.
Technology in assessment is a reality however and something we will be facing ever more pressingly in the future. So how do we take our investment and make it fit the rest of our values with technology? How do we prepare our schools to use the technology for more than a testing device?
My hope would be that each day the various technologies that are in our building are being used in inventive ways to push students further. My hope is that when assessment comes up on the screen it is a welcome break from the rigorous inventive ways that teachers are using the devices any other given day.
What that looks like I believe at my school is still being discovered but I hope that we will continue to acknowledge the usefulness of technology in assessment and data collection but will never stop exploring the more!