“I’d love to purchase new technology for the classroom, but I don’t have the money for it right now.” This is an all-too common phrase said by educators and administrators. Many educators want to implement new and innovative technology to heighten student learning, but lack the funds to do so. It is an unfortunate reality that many schools are restricted from purchasing technology due to funding. Grants can be an important resource for solving the funding problem. Continue reading
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While many teachers are comfortable with technology and can quickly grasp how to use it, other teachers often find technology complicated, overwhelming, and frustrating. There are some educators who feel that teachers with an aversion to technology need to shape up or ship out. Lia De Cicco Remu, director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada, said that paper and pen don’t have a place in the modern classroom, and that teachers who use them are not being fair to their students. For teachers who struggle with technology, the introduction of so many new devices can cause a great deal of frustration. Continue reading
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With all of the different education technology products on the market today, it is critical that technology directors take the time to evaluate the edtech products they may potentially purchase. Fortunately, many edtech companies allow schools to try their products for a certain period of time. Evaluating education technology is critical for both tech directors and edtech companies; it allows staff members to further examine what they are looking for in an edtech product, and it allows edtech companies to discover how they can improve. What are the important questions technology directors need to ask in order to evaluate an edtech product? Continue reading
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In the mid 1970’s, Lyall Watson and Lawrence Blair popularized the idea of the “Hundredth Monkey Effect”. Watson and Blair shared the findings of Japanese scientists who studied the behavior of monkeys on a beach. These scientists observed some of the monkeys learning to wash sweet potatoes, and, after a period of repetition and observation, this behavior spread to other monkeys. Once a critical number of monkeys incorporated this behavior into their routine, monkeys on nearby islands spontaneously replicated the same behavior as well. The accuracy of these findings has been debated, but there is still an important takeaway from the study: the actions of one individual can implement widespread change.
So what does this have to do with edtech? Continue reading
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After finding and purchasing the right education technology product for your school, the next step is implementation. Some form of technology is present in most classrooms across the US, but many teachers use this technology in a rigid fashion; other teachers don’t end up using it at all. Why? Most are simply not comfortable enough with these devices to use them in their classroom. Having a well-thought out implementation plan is arguably the most crucial step for ensuring that the technology is being used correctly and frequently. After all the work that is put into actually purchasing the technology, it would be incredibly disappointing (and, frankly, a waste of money) for the teachers to not end up using it. What does a proper implementation plan look like? Dan Blevins gave us some important insights. Continue reading
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In our last blog, we discussed the important questions that need to be asked before purchasing an edtech product. Those who are responsible for purchasing education technology need to ask if the product is cost effective, if it will enhance learning, and if it has a short learning curve. Technology staff members at the district and individual school levels have the difficult task of finding affordable technology that will aid in the learning process, and is easy to implement. Finding a product that checks all of these boxes is not always an easy task; The Hechinger Report wrote an article on this very issue in March of last year. BoardShare has compiled a list of resources for finding education technology products. Continue reading
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Navigating education technology and the many facets that go into it can be incredibly challenging. From delegating a budget for education technology, to finding a product and implementing it in schools, it can be an extremely taxing process. In this three-part blog series, we will be going over the stages of purchasing, finding, and implementing education technology.
Through speaking with teachers, principals, and chief technology officers, we have learned that, when it comes to purchasing new technology for schools, there are important questions that need to be asked. We also learned more about must-ask questions from ISTE attendees. Continue reading
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In the first BoardShare blog, I discussed an encounter I had with the principal of a rural school. She mentioned to me that, for many of her students, Spring Break means they do not eat for a week. I came to recognize that rural schools face a number of challenges, including a lack of technology. So what does it take to bring technology to a rural school? We spoke with educational consultant and rural educator Daisy Dyer Duerr to find out.
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Although the BoardShare team was exhausted as we left our first ISTE conference, the overall week was incredibly invigorating. The conference served as a great reminder of the importance of providing education technology to schools. The BoardShare journey began in 2013 due to our immense passion for education and technology, and it was amazing to meet the countless attendees and exhibitors who share this passion. There were so many wonderful exhibits that showcased astounding products and services. We selected some of our favorite exhibitors from this year’s conference.
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Today marks the opening of the expo hall at the International Society for Technology in Education conference. The BoardShare team is thrilled to be an exhibitor at this event for the first time, and we are eager to meet all of the attending educators.
Over the years, we have talked with numerous teachers, principals, and technology directors. Through these discussions, we have gathered a great deal of information about the challenges they face with education technology; these frustrations include technology integration and training, disappointing ed tech products, and managing district-wide technology concerns. There are a number of topics being discussed at the ISTE conference that directly relate to these conversations. We chose five ISTE conference sessions that address our clients’ education technology desires and frustrations most directly.