The professional workforce has been quick to adopt new technology tools. We readily accept that tablets and smartphones, teleconferencing and social media are now essential fixtures of the workplace for millions across the globe. Yet we’ve been slow in extending these advances to our schools, and in particular our K-12 schools. While many children’s home lives are abuzz with the same platforms and devices as the 21st century workplace, school just hasn’t kept pace, and in many classrooms pedagogies are barely more inclusive of new technology than they were in the 1980s.
We desperately need to improve on this record, which is why schools need to make hiring educational technology professionals — whether specially trained classroom teachers or dedicated staffers — a top priority. Investment in new technologies can only move a school forward when it’s supported effectively by people. Educational technology specialists provide necessary guidance to teachers and students in order to maximize the pedagogical reach of tech acquisitions.