My Views on the Importance of Technology in Education

Technology in education is my particular field of interest and expertise. A vital component to student achievement today is the establishment of a link between technology and the student acquisition of knowledge. This is an area frequently overlooked by the more traditional superintendent. Access to the most current and pertinent information to explore a topic or solve a problem can only be achieved through ubiquitous access to high technology resources in the classroom. My view is that “information” has become the most valuable commodity in today’s world economy, and therefore, adequate student preparation in information processing is essential. This means moving away from purely textbook-based instructional methodology and greater reliance on primary sources and electronic sources of information. People, throughout their schooling experience, should be systematically taught a variety of methods to obtain, process, and utilize information in the achievement of academic goals.

Since the early 1980’s, I have achieved an outstanding record for bringing technology to the classroom. Most recently, I successfully secured enough competitive grant money to provide a laptop computer to every student at Round Lake High School (2,200 students) which is currently underway. This massive deployment included the creation of a new networking infrastructure, increased Internet bandwidth, wireless access points in each classroom, and a number of student security features such as desktop monitoring and Lojack anti-theft devices.

Gone are the 60 lb bookbags, and everything a student needs is resident on their PC’s hard drive or downloaded from a network server. My emphasis on building IT system to support 1:1 computing in the classroom provides the infrastructural underpinning for a problem-based learning curriculum to occur. I’ve been at the forefront of establishing a high-bandwidth infrastructure in my schools in order to meet the needs of the digital learner previously frustrated by the analog world of the classroom. My 21st century learning philosophy ensures that students have access to the technology resources where the real-time exchange of information with learning partners around the world is possible through such applications as video-conferencing, blogs, wikis, personal learning networks, and more.

My numerous publications, speaking engagements, and teacher seminars in the technology and learning fields clearly sets me apart from most my school administrator contemporaries. I’ve recently written an article for Scholastic Administrator magazine on 1:1 computing in middle schools and high schools (scheduled for publication in March 2011), and I am currently working on a book on the topic.