Panel: Harness technology effectively
May 21, 2012 - As North Carolina develops a network of schools with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), a panel of technology experts convened by Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst met earlier this year to answer two key questions about using technology to link schools in the network and as a tool for STEM teaching and learning.
The questions, posed by the NC New Schools Project as part of its Vision 2015 strategic planning effort:
- How might NCNSP best use technology to create and sustain virtual "communities of practice" among teachers in the network of STEM schools?
- How might NCNSP effectively use technology to strengthen STEM education overall and particularly the application of inquiry- and project-based learning among schools in the network.
In addition, the panel said technology should be used as a tool to personalize professional development for teachers through such elements as online forums, formal courses, collaborative planning and content sharing.
The panel's recommendations on the question about technology as it relates directly to teaching and learning focus on integrating technology as a routine, everyday practice, preferably with a 1-to-1 model where every student has full-time access to a laptop computer.
Among the recommendations:
- Rethink instruction with technology as part of planning and implementation.
- Consider cross-curricular approaches to integrate higher level thinking, communication and collaboration into instruction.
- Maximize technology for assessments to provide more timely feedback to personalize learning for students.