My name is David Smith and I am currently employed by Sequoyah Schools as a secondary education teacher. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Education from the Northeastern State University in May, 1986 and my Master of Education in Educational Technology from the University of Arkansas in May, 2016. I have been involved with technology for over 25 years.
I focus my instruction on project-based learning through the use of technology integration. I currently teach Cisco Network Academy courses and Humanities. My other academic interests include choral music and computer networking. My outside interests include grandchildren, basketball, and taking care of my pets.
Technology Vision Statement
A recent report, which was co-sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, finds that technology use, with proper implementation, can produce an increase in student achievement and boost engagement, in students. This has an even greater effect in students who are most at risk ("Technology can close achievement gaps, improve learning | Stanford Graduate School of Education," 2014). Improper implementation of technology in a student learning experience can lead to lower performance or cause a student to completely drop out.
In a letter to Congress, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan made the statement that “Education is vital to America’s individual and collective economic growth and prosperity, and is necessary for our democracy to work” (U.S. Department of Education [USDOE], 2010). He went on to share the foundation of the National Educational Technology Plan, which was to “apply the advanced technologies used in our daily personal and professional lives to our entire education system to improve student learning, accelerate and scale up the adoption of effective practices, and use data and information for continuous improvement” (USDOE, 2010). The National Educational Technology Plan Executive Summary states that “technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work and we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content, as well as resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways” (NETP, 2010). We must use real-world tools to fashion learning opportunities that will, in turn, be used to address real-world problems. These opportunities will help to produce adults who are college and career enabled and will help to prepare them to be more productive members of a globally minded workforce. (NETP, 2010).
The need for our students to be more competitive arises from the fact that they are no longer only competing against other students from the U.S. The advent of technology has forged opportunities for countries that were once unable to connect to highly skilled jobs in distant locations, to now be able to join the workforce without ever leaving their homeland. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a leading national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student, strongly believes that the U.S. education system should exhibit more effort in helping to prepare our young people to succeed in the rapidly evolving 21st century. Skills such as global literacy, problem solving, innovation and creativity have become critical in today’s increasingly interconnected workforce and society (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2014).
However, these skills cannot be gained without the learners being challenged with their learning experiences in and out of school. These must be designed to prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants (NETP, 2010). The design of these experiences needs to focus on “learning to learn” skills, such as thinking creatively and reasoning effectively. A simple memorization of facts, definitions, and rules will not achieve this goal. Students need three forms of literacy: 1) technological literacy (word processing, spreadsheets, simulations, multimedia, and the internet), 2) information literacy (task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation), and 3) visual literacy (visual design, produce visual messages, and use visual thinking to conceptualize solutions to problems). This will come at a price. Effective technology integration into education requires substantial financial investment in technology infrastructure and teacher training (Roblyer & Doering, 2013).
To equip our students to be global leaders in the workforce, we must equip them, first, to be global leaders in education. Technology is the world-changer in the global workforce, we must make it even more of a priority in our education.
Partnership For 21st Century Skills. (2014). P21 calls for expanded view of citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston, MA:Pearson.
Technology can close achievement gaps, improve learning | Stanford Graduate School of Education. (2014, September 10). Retrieved from https://ed.stanford.edu/news/technology-can-close-achievement-gaps-and-improve-learning-outcomes
U.S. Department of Education. (2001). No child left behind. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/107-110.pdf