Feb 14 2018

Principals Believe in the Power of Technology, but Schools Face Challenges Ahead

School leaders want to use technology to improve student outcomes and innovate the learning experience.

Now, more than ever, school leaders believe in the power of technology to transform learning.

A whopping 90 percent of principals surveyed in a recent MDR EdNET Insight report say they believe that technology is integral to student learning.

In terms of learning transformation, the principals indicate that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), personalized learning and project-based learning were their highest instructional priorities. Improving student outcomes, instruction and parental engagement were the biggest challenges.

While the principals are confident in technology’s power to drive learning change, only 67 percent say their tech infrastructure is strong and just 45 percent believe their teachers are effective in using technology to engage students and improve learning.

The survey indicates that there is a significant gap between what school leaders would like to incorporate into learning and what their schools are able to effectively execute. However, they have the power to change that. Principals and other administrators can play a critical role in boosting tech efficacy by providing support to educators and being mindful of the demands of the classroom at the tech purchasing stage.

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Principals Can Guide Tech Efficacy by Supporting Teachers

To create more effective technology use, former principal Eric Sheninger writes on EdTech that leaders should first start with pedagogy.

“The journey to efficacy begins and ends with the intended goal in mind and a strong pedagogical foundation,” he writes. “Adding technology or new ideas without this in place will likely not be effective.”

Kean University educational scholars Rafael Inoa and Steven LoCascio agree that to ensure teachers are effectively using new technology, administrators need to help them incorporate that tech into their existing lessons.

With the MDR EdNET Insight survey indicating that principals have a lot of influence on technology purchasing, they have the ability to make sure that their school is getting tech that actually makes sense for their classrooms.

“Everything we do should align with the demands, and at times, constraints of the job,” writes Sheninger. “This includes preparing students for success on standardized tests. If it’s not practical, the drive to implement new ideas and practices wanes or never materializes.

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