- Former teacher and tech director Dan Carroll, now the chief product officer and co-founder of learning platform Clever, writes for EdSurge that it's critical for those working on and with ed tech to have classroom experience beyond simply being former students.
- For his employees, he writes, he has helped to build a six-lesson onboarding course that helps bring participants up to speed on educational trends, standards and even how to weave technology into classrooms. Schools and districts could adopt such an approach to help IT staff work more closely with academic officials.
- Called the Freshman Seminar, the courses include material such as “Wrong Answer,” a New Yorker piece by Rachel Aviv that looks at school testing, and Jonathan A. Knee’s “Class Clowns,” which encourages employees to look at where educational technology has failed.
When designing curriculum at the school or district level, all players need to work in tandem to ensure that materials, resources and educational lessons are delivered in the most effective way possible. In this way, it’s crucial that chief academic officers and others in academic offices aren’t separated from those overseeing technology.
Technology is swiftly becoming a regular tool in classrooms, from the computers and tablets used by students to work on their lessons to robotics, coding tools and other tech devices and platforms educators are adopting. In some cases, devices are used in part to meet science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) requirements. In other cases, however, STEM tools are used across curriculum, appearing in art classes as easily as science courses.
This tech exposure doesn’t always require a huge investment, but it does require — almost always — access to the internet or apps. In getting students online, administrators should also ensure student information, from passwords to school work, is safe and secure by following the latest cybersecurity recommendations. Technology departments and staff can help with this, in particular.
When both the IT and academic departments are able to easily connect and work together, the two can be assured technology used in the curriculum makes the most sense for classrooms and offers the most benefit to students.