The elephantine impact of technology on education

Jacqui Murray

IMS Expert on websites/online content, tech advice and computer support.

Jacqui is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a Cisco blogger, a columnist for, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller for her agent that should be out this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

If you’re interested in technology textbooks for K-5, visit Structured Learning. You’ll find the tech curriculum Jacqui Murray and hundreds of schools across the nation use.

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Have you noticed what's happening in your child's school? Technology. There's rarely a lesson taught, be it math or science or health, that doesn't include some form of technology to enhance its message, increase its reach, improve its communication. If you haven't been in the classroom lately, drop by this week when you pick up your wonderful student. There's likely to be a Smartboard (or some sort of interactive screen) on the wall, a pod of computers (if not 1:1 laptops) overflowing from a corner, maybe iPads on desktops or in a mobile cart, a digital camera and microphones to record events, streaming video from Discovery Channel. Those ubiquitous samples of student work that traditionally clutter the walls now include many created with computers.

Today's education happens by standing on the shoulders of technology innovation.

If you don't have a school-age child, take a peek at Cisco's VNI Service Adoption blog. There's an uptick in the impact of technology on all parts of consumer life. As Cisco suggests, these changes are all about connecting students to their future, empowering them with responsibility for their own education in areas such as:

  • access to learning
  • quality of instruction and education assessment
  • innovative learning models
  • decision making
  • reduced costs with administrative efficiency (not yet, but it's a good goal)

As a tech teacher, the new educational paradigm relies on either the United States' No Child Left Behind, the International Baccalaureate Organization's international IB educational guidelines, and/or the National Board of Governors state-driven Common Core Standards (already adopted in 46 states). Interestingly, these education standards may (or may not) address technology, but only tangentially, as they contribute to core subjects. Many states have area-specific technology standards (though all don't, most visibly California). Others leave it to the International Society of Technology Education's well-respected NETS national technology standards.

As the tech teacher, I used to teach keyboarding and software. Now, depending upon my school's focus, it's laptops, iPads, online tools, websites, and problem-solving to increase independence.

Over the next months, I'll give you a peek into how today's classrooms are using this unprecedented access to the world's knowledge base. I'll start with keyboarding.

It's not your mother's typing class. First off, it starts in kindergarten. I bet most of you took typing in high school--middle school if your school district was precocious.

What a wonderful time to be a student.

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