Saturday, January 26, 2013

Issues in Ed Tech

There is and always will be issues when it comes to using educational technology in our schools. What are the most pressing issues out there? Is it integrating it properly into the classroom? Is it funding? It seems to be any number of things depending on your school district. My district has implemented the BYOD policy for the upcoming school year which I am really excited about. I feel like I have a good enough command of my classroom to be able to have the students effectively use their personal devices in my class. I feel fortunate to be in a great situation at my school. I have a lab with 26 brand new pc's, a teacher lap top and 2 printers. I have 18 robotics kits that are brand new. I just wrote a grant to get a 3D printer. I have a wi-if enabled classroom. Technology wise, I am pretty well off and I am very thankful for that. But I hear so many stories of people who do not have access to a computer, let alone the equipment I have.

Overall, I believe the biggest issue in ed tech is funding. There are so many tools out there for educators to use, but there is trouble gaining access to it mainly due the cost. I would love to have my students have access to iPads. But an iPad 2 costs at least $399. You could go with a Kindle Fire, but they're $169. That's big money for an average class. You could set up a central computer lab, but those are really expensive to set up and maintain. There are so many variables: getting software and licenses, having an IT person, the electricity costs, a network that can support them and so on. Another thing that I see is towns feel the need to spend money on computer programs when it is not necessary to. It seems like administrations like to say they spent money on something just to say they spent money to get a program. There are free programs out there whether they are open source or available free online, you just need to research what you want.