Educational technology falls under the umbrella term, assistive technology. Essentially, it is technology that helps students, and educators, to learn and teach more effectively. Educational technology was originally created to help students with disabilities. However, with the ever-growing expansion of the types of technology available, it is more and more common to see technology used for all students regardless of their learning abilities.
Many school systems have already retrofitted their classrooms with SmartBoards to create an interactive learning environment. Now, with the creation of touch screen tablets and netbooks, it is feasible that students can use technology to enhance every aspect of their education. The iPad itself contains thousands of applications, many of which are free, and many of which are relatively inexpensive. Will technology replace traditional learning and learning objectives?
No, that is not a concern for the state of Connecticut, which has adopted the national Core Common Standards. Educational technology can and hopefully will be used to expand our students’ learning and awaken their interest in the process of learning.
One thing should be made clear, this article is intended to begin the thought process of the uses of technology in education. Do I think every student needs their own, not by any means (and definitely not from the education budget), but do I think it’s our job as educators to guide our students on ways to use technology for their benefit educationally (absolutely).
Where can you go to learn more about educational/assistive technology? The New England Assistive Technology Resource and Education Center (a.k.a. NEAT Marketplace) is located at 120 Holcomb Street, Hartford, CT 06112.
You can visit their website at www.neatmarketplace.org.
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