The biggest lessons districts, superintendents and administrators learned in 2013 is that incorporation of technology in the classroom requires a strategy. Simply videoing a lesson or giving a student a tablet doesn’t mean your school district, or students, have embraced online learning. Technology can only transform education when it’s incorporated as part of a well-thought-out program that changes not only how material is delivered, but also how the student will progress through the curriculum, and how outcomes will be measured.
The first two posts that we chose as part of this section on how technology is transforming the classroom tackle this issue head-on. The third article serves as a practical example of how technology is a fundamental part of a transformative strategy, as the new 2014 GED® program leverages technology to better facilitate a change in content.
Unlike traditional education videos which replicate the formal classroom structure of a teacher lecturing and a student passively observing, well-crafted online courses use a toolbox of techniques to create an interactive learning environment. By including a variety of tools from texts, to video, audio, and interactive demonstrations, a true online learning environment is created. These tools work in concert to create a coherent, engaging lesson or curriculum.
Dr. Christopher Harrington, President of the eLearn Institute, penned this piece in late 2013 to drive home the point that simply handing out tablets doesn’t constitute an “online learning strategy.” He argues that districts must consider their learning management systems, how they will evaluate online learning and define success, and even how they promote online learning in their communities to ensure that the program is successful.
Hopefully, with just a few days left in 2013, students across the United States have nearly completed their GED® tests and all will avoid the "wipe-out" coming in January when the test undergoes its first major overhaul in several generations. Not only will the curriculum be transformed to align with the Common Core State Standards being adopted by the majority of states, but the ways in which students engage with the curriculum and pass the test will be transformed by the incorporation of 21st Century technology. These changes will better prepare students for the world ahead of them, both in terms of mastery of concepts and their ability to engage, navigate, and manipulate technology.
GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license. This material or content is not endorsed or approved by ACE or GED Testing Service.