Technology, tablets and social media in education

Posted On July 13, 2012 By Advance Blog

In 1995, the Maryland Plan for Technology in Education was developed to serve as the foundation for the development of technological enhancements to the Maryland school system.

Education is seeing a lot of change. Change in leadership, change in how students learn, and change in the way teachers teach. Many of these topics stem from technology and how to improve the education system. This plan was prior to the birth of social media as we know it. At present, students throughout the state have embraced these technology tools, which evolve on almost a daily basis. Educators need technology tools to adapt to the way students learn best. Digital content is growing and having tools to access the information will aid teachers in relaying the most up to date material for their students. Students have a plethora of digital outlets at their disposal – they use them for learning, socializing, creating online communities…it’s a virtual social world that has a great deal of influence on their lives. Educators who are embracing this should be well positioned to connect at that student online community level.

Technology is a driver for how data is used in the school system. Research is needed to assess the effectiveness of these advancements in the classroom, understand and apply the research and evaluation studies and to create a repository of effective practice. To date, there are numerous cases of improved student performance where technology has been implemented.

There are 5 objectives in the plan. To view the plan and objectives in its entirety, you can view them online.

Consider the third objective: Improve decision making at all levels of the organization through the use of technology. I choose to focus on this particular objective because it directly relates to the electronic document management offering that has improved the efficiency of so many Advance partners. The objective cites improving the administrative office of an educational institution’s operational efficiency; providing access to studentdocuments complete with integration with educational systems. While progress has been made, efforts continue for the overall strategic focus of a system providing access to digital resources, data and information around the clock.

Citing the area discussing the implementation of data management systems, a few things come to mind. Having access to standard documents, records and things like permission slips is an important aspect of the records process for schools. The ability to call up a student’s file with a few key strokes would save on time and money. With an electronic document management system, health records, interim notices, grade reports, and sports forms could be combined into an electronic PDF and sent to parents upon request. Educators and parents could call up student information on a mobile device or tablet, teachers could submit grades electronically, saving them time and hassle, forms could be completed electronically on a tablet instead of handwriting….the list goes on.