I can already see some of these trends in progress. While all of these will impact what we do at work in some way, I would like to comment on #9 which gives a heads-up to IT departments in particular. Emerging technologies and the technology we acquire for ourselves does out-pace and out-perform the technology the district provides us to use for working, teaching and learning in schools. A prime example is the iPhone. How many of us have already bought our own? I know of a number of teachers who bring in their own personal laptops because the laptops the district provides can’t do what they need it to for instruction (i.e. they're locked down too tight, they're too old, don't have the software we need, not enough RAM, etc.). And, how about those of us that purchase at our own expense subscriptions to online apps that assist us with what we do because the district doesn’t - like online digital grading programs, survey creators, quiz programs, etc.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, "it should not be IT that drives the business of the organization, it should be the business of the organization that drives IT". In our case, that's K-12 teaching and learning. This is a prime reason why instructional technology specialsts are of key importance to the overall success of education organizations today. A pity more districts don't recognize this now.
As we return to work for the coming school year, I would like to suggest we keep in mind the following questions to help us set a direction and plan for instructional technology in our schools:
- How can we do a better job of engaging students in our classrooms and in their own learning?
- In what ways can we change and enhance our instructional practices to prepare students to continue to learn and be successful workers in the world when they leave us?