Sunday, November 12, 2017

How To Measure Tech's Success in Schools

How should we measure the benefits of technology in schools?

For the most part questions revolve around asking if technology will:
  • increase student achievement
  • make students smarter
  • result in better test scores

No. It won't.

Innovative educators understand that those are the wrong questions to ask.  

A better question to ask when looking at the advantages of technology in school is this:

“How is technology helping students make the world a better place?”

When we look at and assess that question, we can start to tell stories that matter as well as cultivate buy in and support from the students, staff, families, community, and partners.

What could this look like?
  • Students create an app that helps their peers find free internet access throughout their neighborhood.
  • The robotics team creates cars for youth in the community who are unable to walk.
  • Students use technology to grow edible classrooms, raise funds for their school, and help themselves and the community become healthier.

When we start measuring success with metrics that matter, we can start empowering educators to support students in using technology to do the work that improves the lives of themselves and others.

This is an approach supported by how the International Society of Technology for Education defines “The New Digital Citizenship.” While it is important to support youth in becoming safe and responsible, it is not until we move from digital citizenship to digital leadership that we are really able to focus on helping to develop empowered digital learners. Here is a poster from ISTE that outlines this perspective.

So, what do you think? How are you and/or others using tech to support students in doing work that improves the lives of themselves and others?

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