As the classroom becomes more technologically advanced, the type of problems that arise are more complex than they have been in the past. While an information technology professional can be a great asset to any school system, having someone trained in educational technology leadership can improve problem solving and innovation to make a difference in any educational setting.
Creative Thinking for Big Issues
There are some issues facing schools and students that go beyond the classroom. Although the phrase “digital divide” has been used for many years in education, this issue is still very real for many students. Research suggests that 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires access to the internet. While this may sound reasonable, roughly 30 percent of students do not have an internet connection at home. This type of issue goes beyond simply troubleshooting a printer in a classroom, so moving from a traditionally trained IT professional to one trained in educational technology leadership can be a clear step forward. Thinking beyond the traditional answers can create innovative solutions for entire districts.
Innovative Solutions for Individuals
On a smaller scale, teachers who complete an educational technology program can develop a better understanding of how the bigger picture affects smaller problems. Using technology to create classrooms that are inclusive for students with special needs can create better learning environments for everyone. One example is the problem that can arise when special needs students are singled out for their accommodations. A single student in the classroom with an assistive learning device draws attention to that student’s needs. A professional in educational technology leadership can look beyond the individual student to see the larger issues: if every student has a device, the teacher can differentiate his or her instruction without drawing attention to special needs students, thereby creating a fully inclusive class.
Solving Problems in Careers
While most professionals focus on solving problems for teachers and students or administrators and school districts, some problems are less obvious. For an IT professional, career advancement can feel difficult. By learning to take a leading role in planning and implementing technology in an educational setting, you may be able to advance to a higher-paying position. Many technology-oriented people are driven to solve the problems they encounter; improving education through technology requires innovative thinking to create quality educational technology programs.
Difficulties arise in educational settings from time to time, and generally teachers, support staff and administrators handle these issues while working with students on a daily basis. While this approach can be effective, professionals trained in educational technology leadership can begin mitigating these problems before they ever arise, integrating creative solutions into classroom instruction seamlessly. Problem solvers like this can rapidly become one of the most valuable members of any teaching organization.