Giving Compass' Take:

• Anne Olson explains that while technology is a significant component of the classroom, educators are essential in utilizing technology to advance students' learning abilities and their academic success. 

• How does COVID-19 complicate teachers' ability to support students? What role can funders play in ensuring that students and teachers can connect? 

• Learn about how teachers forged personalized learning.

In today’s technology-driven world, teachers may no longer be the sole keepers of knowledge in the classroom. The introduction of one-to-one initiatives, online classrooms, blended-learning models, and the overall rise of technology in classrooms allow for students to have far more access to constant information than past generations. Personalized learning thrives in this technology-rich environment, but is insufficient on its own to revolutionize a student’s classroom experience.

Teachers, on the other hand, are more important than ever in preparing students for an ever-changing world with infinite access to all types of information. Teachers can be the guides that shape educational experiences for their students, helping them engage with learning tools that will enrich and support deeper learning, including different types of technology. Teachers also can use technology platforms to support data-driven learning like never before, personalizing learning to students’ interests, passions, strengths, and needs.

Our research has demonstrated that technology is important. Yet, the true power of technology lies in the development of, and agency for, teachers to cultivate the tools to meet the ever-changing needs of their students. Simply providing access to new types of technology is not synonymous to cultivating transformational change to the traditional, industrial model of teaching and learning that values standardizing inputs and outputs for students. Instead, thoughtfully cultivating the use of technology in the classroom by empowering teachers to utilize the tool in ways that support their learners is critical in the transition to a personalized learning environment.

Read the full article education technology by Anne Olson at Brookings.