This website is designed to be a source of information regarding why we need to integrate technology into our teaching strategies. Educational technology is an important tool in our classrooms today because it sets students on a more level playing field. Students receive immediate feedback and adapted problems to their level of understanding, plus educational technology allows for students to have a larger variety of evaluation options that play to individual students strengths. There are three important things to consider when implementing technology in schools: equitable use, ethical use, and social responsibility.
Equitable use is extremely important in regards to student learning. Students should have equal access to devices, whether this means implementing a one-to-one device policy or having a few devices to keep in the classroom that are rotated among students through centers. If it’s the latter, students should not be expected to complete online assignments for homework, as each student may not have an available device at home.
There are ethical lines to be clearly drawn with educational technology to keep students safe. Student data can be breached, intentionally distributed, or coaxed out of a student. All measures to keep student data confidential and protected need to be taken according to COPPA and FERPA. Only the student, parents, and teacher should be able to see student data. Safety for the students while online is another ethical issue that needs to be addressed. CIPA protects students from viewing inappropriate websites and pictures on the web by requiring schools to block inappropriate content and teach students about good digital citizenship and internet safety.
With social media being a crucial part of our world, students need to understand their role in social responsibility. Social responsibility is when students practice good social etiquette while posting online (this can be social media or discussion boards in class). For many students, it doesn’t occur to them how much damage a negative comment can cause, yet it is so much easier to post a negative comment online since you’re hiding behind a screen. Another good thing to explain to students is that everything they do online will leave a digital footprint, and can be found. This isn’t meant to scare them, but encourage them to stay away from inappropriate content online.