If Technology Isn’t the Goal of Education, Then What Is?

I love being an Instructional Technologist, largely because it provides me with such a wide-open field to play in. Education is as broad an industry as it has ever been. And technology is certainly a part of it.After answering the “what is that?” question, I am usually asked about technology in general, and then its place within education, specifically. People are intrigued by the seeming steady drive toward online or e-learning environments and platforms.Technology, the Goal of Education?I am often asked about our school’s new Learning Management System, or why we are interested in moving toward Project-Based Learning. They want to know the how and why of our one-to-one tablet program and when we will be offering hybrid and online courses.But often people confuse the goal of education with the tools of education.The goal of education is not:
Web 2.0 Technologies
Project-Based Learning
Blended or Flipped Learning Models
Online or Hybrid Learning Models
Smartboards or other Interactive Classroom Technologies and applications
Mobile computing
Technology and its associated pedagogies simply represent the new tools of education.But do not make the mistake of thinking these new tools are merely replacements for older outdated tools; like the blackboard and chalk, overhead projectors, and the VHS player. If that were the case, then let’s keep the old tools, they’re cheaper and we already know how to use them.It is the Learners Who Inherit the FutureNo, these new tools are far more than new paint on an old barn; these tools provide the means to transform education. They make it easier than ever for educators to raise the bar on what our students can accomplish. Education should no longer be about memorization, note taking, and multiple choice tests.The tools have changed largely because our world has changed. The industrial age is over (even if education is just beginning to figure that out). The information age is expanding at an incredible rate. And technology is what allows many of us to keep up. Technology brings knowledge to our finger tips and in often less than a few milliseconds.One of my favorite quotes is by Eric Hoffer, author of “The Ordeal of Change”, who said, “in a time of rapid change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves in a world that no longer exists.”Students are Being Asked to Dance to Music Yet UnheardOur world is changing – as is the world of education. The role of education has always been and should continue to be one of preparation. But the challenge is much greater than it has ever been.We are in the business of preparing students for jobs that have not yet even been created. We are asking students to dance to music yet unheard. What brings the task within focus and makes the job seem reasonable is technology.But technology does not equal education. Technology, along with the many new pedagogies associated with it, is the means to the end.The goal of education, in this age, is to prepare students for a workforce that is already demanding such skills as
innovation,
creativity,
critical analysis,
collaboration,
global awareness,
presentation and communication skills
and the ability to manage time.
We refer to these as “21st Century Skills.” Teaching these skills, in and along with mastery of content, is the goal of the 21st Century Teacher. Technology simply provides us the tools to do it better.

5 Tips on How to Prepare For Your Kids’ College Education

Many kids only start thinking about college education when they reach high school. As for parents, it is a different story. College education costs are not going to get lower when your kids grow up. In fact, the costs increase as the inflation goes up. Thus, it is better to start early for you as a parent to start planning for your kids’ college education fund even when they are still babies.The problem is that many parents have no clue about how to save money for their kids’ college education. These tips can give you a head start in the process.- Research on the various college saving plans. Currently, in the market there are so many different types of college saving plans that offer different advantages. Study them and select the best one that suits your requirements. These plans offer attractive tax benefits which you can ask a financial advisor to help you if you do not understand how it works.- Choose a prepaid college tuition plan instead. These plans give you the option to lock in the current college tuition costs which you do not have to deal with the increasing cost later. Furthermore, you do not have to select any college first at this stage. As the plans are managed by the states, the student is only allowed to choose any public college within that state which his tuition plan indicates. However, if he wants to go another college of a different state or private college, he has to pay more.- Start early. When your kid is still a baby, it is the best time to get started. This allows you to put money into the children college saving fund every month but a lesser amount compared to parents whose children are in grade school and they have to put in a bigger amount to save for the kids. You have a head start and by the time your kid is ready for college, you have a healthy college fund for him or her.- Put regular savings into your kids’ college education fund. Every month, you can put aside a fixed amount of money from your paycheck to your kid’s college education fund which you set up for them. When you get a bonus or money incentives, you should put some of them into that saving accounts. Bear in mind to keep within the annual contribution limit to avoid any unnecessary penalties.- Use parent’s name for the college savings accounts. Why? This enables the parents to control the money or else the kids may use the money for their fun.Now, you have realized that saving for your kids’ college education requires a lot of planning and it is at your advantage to start early. By choosing a suitable college savings plan and regularly putting money into the account, your kids’ college education is ensured.