Thereis a need for changing the governing policies and procedures ininstitutions to promote their productivity. These changes aresignificantly evident in schools all over the universe.Revolutionizing the learning institutions through the formulation ofeducational policies that change the management structure, teachingmethods, and other functions within the organization have gained alot of concern among scholars (Kaiser et al., 2014). Status of thecultural practices, ideas, and approaches to solving problems dictatethe type of policies to be implemented in various sectors (Kaiser etal., 2014). According to researchers, one of the greatest aspects ofeducation that requires change is the approaches of passinginformation to the students (Kaiser et al., 2014). Technology hasbecome ubiquitous (Kaiser et al., 2014). It is touching every part ofhuman lives in our homes, communities, and workplaces. It is arequirement for the students to have basic computer knowledge forthem to remain competent in a highly technological knowledge-basedand complex economy. Although some learning institutions still lagbehind when it comes to the incorporation of the technological toolsin the class work, most schools have been exploring the exact valuethat tech offers. These innovations involve the use of audio, video,and graphic content for effective teaching by the educators. Thisapproach shifts the instruction from the traditional conventionalteaching to technological-based method. The technology allows aprogram-based learning and gives the students who performed poorly inroutine tasks a variety of ways to prove their knowledge concerningspecific subjects. This approach offers the teachers a collaborativeformula of passing knowledge to the kids. This paper discusses thechange in the educational technology policy as the only approach thathas led to maximum productivity in learning institutions within theUS.
Thestandards of the ISLLC 2008 policy serve as the foundation ofexplaining the effective functions that promote quality educationalleadership. Accordingly, policy-makers, states, districts, andorganizations can use these guidelines for the development ofpolicies and rules that guide the leadership profession in education.Concerning the changes made in the educational technology policy,these regulations could be utilized to develop criteria for hiringadministrators in learning institutions. The teachers and themanagement of a K-12 learning system should have a basicunderstanding of how the use of technology in schools boost thelearning process. Therefore, the entry-level skills and knowledgeshould entail a test on mastery of technological concepts that areutilized in the schools. The ISLLC policy also acts as a catalyst forresearch efforts aiming at the establishment of better professionalcareer skills. It also promotes professional development since theleaders continually improve their performance to gain real expertise. Educational leaders should show leadership skills and knowledge. Inso doing, these administrators are capable of portraying a sharedvision of improving the students’ experience in the learninginstitutions. They will be successful as leaders who strive to ensureequitable outcomes and opportunities for all the learners. For thechanges in the educational technology policy, the leaders mustunderstand their roles in ensuring successful implementation. Theyshould also be able to analyze the challenges and benefits associatedwith the changes and adopt strategies that maximize the positiveoutcomes of the policy while reducing potential adverse impacts.Efficient application of technology in learning, particularly in K-2schools, can only be fully realized if the leaders, teachers, andmanagers of the educational sectors fully understand the value ofthis development.
Technologicaladvancements have been relied on in solving various challenges in theworld. The application of these developments has been observed in awide range of sectors. For example, computers are being used for avariety of applications ranging from the simple social interactionsto even more complex utilizations. Additionally, technology is evergrowing and changing. The numerous forms of technologicaladvancements necessitate the need to incorporate some of its elementsto promote the learning process (Ellis & Loveless, 2013). Today,technology is viewed as a tool for improving and reshaping education.Teachers all over the world deliver a lot of information to thestudents on a daily basis. In the past, teachers had to rely on theuse of handwritten notes that stores relevant knowledge to pass tothe students at a specific stage of their education. However, withthe use of technology the educators can today store this informationin computers, phones, and other devices that allow fast retrieval andappropriate storage of data. Use computers in the classrooms are nolonger illegal in the classroom. Moreover, the presentation andmanagement of the classroom for the teachers are made more efficient.The method of delivering knowledge to students greatly influencestheir levels of understanding. Technological presentation of contentto the learners facilitates understanding and encouragesproject-based of the pupils since a young age (Ellis & Loveless,2013). For instance, computer graphics creates virtual environmentsfor user interaction (Ellis & Loveless, 2013). Incorporation ofthis form of technology in learning will boost the level ofunderstanding particularly in young students.
Embracingtechnologies in learning institutions allow flexibility in teaching(Cuban, 2013). This approach eliminates the need for overreliance onthe conventional teaching methods. Involvement of technologicaltechniques in learning provides an advantage for both the studentsand the teachers through the provision of a venue in which a widerange of learner can excel. Conventional classrooms emphasize onmultiple-choice test performance and verbal knowledge. On thecontrary, technology gives the students a chance to demonstrate theirunderstanding through a diverse set of challenges (Cuban, 2013). Forexample, learners may be involved in a learning approach that doesnot require verbal explanation but the programming of simulation toexpress a concept. According to studies, the accomplishments shown bythe students who had performed poorly in the conventional academictasks is often surprising. Another benefit that the schools derivefrom the technology is the ability to develop self-esteem among thelearners. Given the value of the technology in the world, a sense ofself-worth arises once the young scholars realize that they have amastery of technological-based tasks.
Theprevious educational technology policies were influenced by the pastleadership theories and ideas. Today’s educational policies areconsistent with the demands of industrialized West. During the1950’s, the role of the schools was mainly to train manufacturinglaborers in basic writing and reading skills (Cuban, 2013). Theleadership roles were entrusted to the managers and other seniorleaders of the organizations. Therefore, training of the workers onthe key technological functions of the company was consideredunnecessary. Later in the 1960’s and 70’s there had been a shiftof attention from organizational systems to individual workers(Cuban, 2013). Along with the need to train service workers ratherthan industrial line laborers, this change led to thetransformational schools of thought on roles of leaders. Based onthese earlier ideas, theories, and economic development, the need foradopting a digital culture in organized public institutions foradolescent and childhood education was not as pressuring as it istoday. The idea of constructivism may also be linked to the need fortechnological-based teaching methods from the past. This theory aimsat involving the students actively in solving problems and enablingcritical thinking. As discussed earlier, the use of technology inlearning environment creates an environment that allows practical andcollective involvement of the learners. Just like the approach ofeducational technology policies suggest, this theory advocates forself-knowledge construction by testing methods and ideas. Therefore,incorporation of the technological tools in learning supports thisancient theory of education. Technical education promotes theadoption of this method since it promotes project-based learning.
Thereis numerous importance associated with the use of technology inclassrooms. The need for computer skills and universal computer usagehas pushed the US government to come up with laws such as CoreCurriculum Content Standards that insist that the learners shouldmeet the demands of the 21st Century. Such requirements include themastery of the technological applications in various aspects of humanlife. There are many advantages of using technology in a class.Technology allows the use of more interactive tools in educationleading to the creation of a dynamic learning condition whichdirectly benefits the students. The computer technology is relied onfor class interaction, presentation, and collaboration, among otherforms of communication among the teachers and the students. Thistechnological approach in the learning also offers adaptability andflexibility to differentiated learning. For instance, Podcasts andvodcasts provide the learners with an opportunity to learn at a pacethat they find fit for them and also enable relearning of the contentat any given time. This capability is highly beneficial for ESLstudents and the learners who have disabilities (Garrison &Vaughan, 2013). Another benefit is that the progress of each pupilcan be traced by the use of various technological tools.Additionally, learning is made interesting by the implementation ofpolicies for full incorporation of technology in the learningprocess. The inclination of the students to spend time online couldbe used to their benefit by engaging in conducting educative onlinetasks that interest them. Distance learning is made easier, access toinformation for both teachers and students made possible, andcollaboration becomes more effective through the implementation ofeducational technology policy (Garrison & Vaughan, 2013).
However,various experts have raised concerns that there are risks associatedwith the use of technology in education (Fulcher, 2015). The mostraised concern is the distractive nature of technology in theeducation process. The use of the social media among the youths isvery addictive. Consequently, skills such as interpersonalcommunication and memorizing of the academic concepts might belimited among the internet users. This condition necessitates theestablishment of strict guidelines for the students to follow. Theteacher has to make sure the learners stick to the expectations ofeach learning activity (Fulcher, 2015). For instance, in cases wherethe students have to access the internet in a classroom to experimentwith crucial learning activities, the teacher has to regulate theirneed to visit the social media platforms. Use of the technologicaldevices such as smartphones and computers in the classroom at aperiod when the teacher explains important concepts may also hinderthe level of understanding. Overreliance on technological tools forcommunication in a classroom may limit the learners’ ability tocommunicate verbally. There is also the fear that technologicaladvancements have encouraged cheating in issued assignments. Studentscan access information from the internet to answer teachers’questions inside the classroom. This makes it difficult to gauge thelearners’ ability to memorize necessary concepts. Additionally, allthe students may not have equal access to the technical resources.This inequality disadvantages some learners since they fail to obtainlearning materials. A lot of money is also required to ensure all thestudents in an institution have access to these resources.
Someof the intended ramifications for the educational technology policyinclude the motivation of the students to learn. According to thesurvey, most learners enjoy learning through hands-on learning tools.Technology serves as the ultimate carrot for the learners. Technologyis something that the students want to master. Consequently,knowledge about the technology boosts the K-12 learners’self-esteem and excites them (Fulcher, 2015). Another expectation ofthis policy is to develop supplemental teaching tools for theeducators. In a PBS Learning Survey, three-quarter of the K-12teachers who participated agreed that technology assists in expandingand reinforcing content. Teaching is a repetitive activity whichcreates boredom among the participants. Interactive tools forpresentation such as graphics, video clips, and audiovisual elementskeep the students actively engaged in lessons. This approach alsokeeps the lessons fresh. Finally, this approach prepares the childrenfor the future. The technological advancements have evolvedtremendously and continue to do so. Therefore, educational technologypolicies serve as a change that is parallel with the learningtechniques of the students and the teachers’ lesson planning. At ayoung age, students have a better opportunity of developingdependable skills and knowledge in today’s world through thelearning how to use the technology. The learner is prepared to copewith the ever-changing nature of the technological environment.
Forthe sustainable implementation of this policy, all people involved inthe welfare of the school must be engaged in the decision-makingprocess (Carol, 2013). These individuals include the students,parents, teachers, and all the other members of staff. Theinvolvement of the wider community improves communication of ideasand understanding of the strategies to be implemented. Incorporationof stakeholders’ experiences, perspectives, and expertise isenabled through their involvement. Consequently, this relationshipleads to the improvement of reform strategies, proposals, and theentire process of developing the policy. Involvement of the parentallows them to appreciate the need for technological learningapproach for their kids. The management and policy-makers shouldexplain the importance of educational technology policy at variousphases of child development (Carol, 2013). The parents also givetheir input concerning the cultures and the background of thechildren. This information helps develop policies that do not alterthe intended goals of the parents for their kids. On the other hand,the policy formulation process should also involve the learners.Making the students understand the changes that will arise as aresult of the new policies encourage them to embrace the alterationsin their academic system positively (Carol, 2013). Their input on thetype of teaching techniques they prefer should also be consideredwhile formulating these innovations. The teacher should closely workwith the management personnel and the policy-makers. The educatorsare the key contributors to the type of the changes that may workbest while educating the children. Teachers would feel free toimplement teaching methods which they participated in formulating.This approach ensures accountability of all the stakeholders. Theengagement plan involves consultation, collaboration, and empowermentof all the affected individuals. Workshops, forums, and surveys mustbe conducted through joint participation of all the stakeholders(Carol, 2013).
Thecommunication of the policy is conducted verbally through the boardmeetings and joint stakeholder meetings (Garrison & Vaughan,2013). Individuals whose actions and attitudes have an impact on thesuccess of policy implementation must be involved in all discussions.They should be informed of any changes in design, ideas, and methodsof program implementation. Different people have differentpriorities, desires, attitudes, and interests concerning the policy.Therefore, all of them must be brought aboard through effectivecommunication strategies. Communication helps in the development ofpositive relationships among all the participants. This method ofpassing information concerning the policy targets the stakeholders.The process is organized and hence gives people a chance to raiseconcerns regarding individual elements of the new policy. However,this approach may not pass the intended message to the entirecommunity. In a board meeting, only representatives of various groupsof stakeholders can be accommodated in a single venue. Additionally,the use of technological tools to communicate to the affectedcommunity members is also a significant approach. Emails and textmessages must be sent to the stakeholders and the society at large toensure they are aware of the policy. Hard copy brochures and posterscan also be issued to the members of the public. However, theweakness of these printed materials is that it is hard to tellwhether the message reached the audience. In most cases, the receiverof the message does not give their feedback.
Theformulation of the new policy involves budgetary implications. Thelearning institutions, the government, and the parents must bewilling to spend some money for effective implementation. However,for sustainability, the policy formulation process must develop abudget that all the stakeholders finds appropriate. The costs thatthe policy implementation process undergoes include the funds spentto purchase technological equipment, training the stakeholders, andbuying all the other materials involved. For efficient learning thatincorporates technology, every student must have access to acomputer. These computers must also have the necessary programsinstalled in them for efficient operation (Garrison & Vaughan,2013). The network system must also be established in the schools toenable access to internet information by the pupils. The trainingprocess would require purchasing of books, preparation of slides, andhiring of staff members to educate the stakeholders. This processrequires allocation of a budget that sustains the project until therecomes such a time when full implementation is realized. It’s therole of the top-level management to ensure that the project receivescontinued funding.
Unlikeother types of projects, these changes in the policy can only beimplemented and followed up for an extended period (Fulcher, 2015).The timeline for this project should take a period of 20 years. Thefirst phase of the project should involve training and acquisition ofthe necessary equipment. This step should be followed by the actualincorporation of developed technological strategies in education. Thechallenges that may arise during the implementation of these effortsmust be addressed. The response of the teachers and the studentstowards the changes in the learning system should also be carefullymonitored in the long run. However, some of the benefits of thisinnovation will be realized after a short of time. These short-termgoals must also be evaluated, and measures for improvement put inplace to ensure the long-term success of the new policies.
Inconclusion, as evident in this paper, the change in the educationaltechnology policy has significant results in the teachingenvironment. Some of the benefits associated with this change includeallowing flexibility in teaching and giving the students to tacklediverse tasks. The knowledge of the students is no longer fixed tothe verbal and written solutions to the tasks but also theprogramming of problem-solving concepts. The need for this change inpolicy is further necessitated by the increased overreliance oftechnological tools in a wide range of human aspects. Today,businesses, public offices, and other sectors have embraced the fullutilization of technology in handling tasks. For instance, thecommunication within an organization and people themselves hasentirely shifted to the use of mobile phones, emails, and socialmedia. The implementation of the changes in this policy will rely onthe involvement of all the stakeholders. These individuals must alsobe involved in the formulation of specific components of this plan. Asustainable budget for purchasing the equipment, financing thetraining process, and monitoring the policy implementation must alsobe put in place. For such a policy, full implementation can only berealized after a long-term investment.
Carol,Vincent Research Fellow in Education Policy. (2013). Parentsand teachers: Power and participation.Routledge.
Cuban,L. (2013). Insidethe black box of classroom practice: Change without reform inAmerican education.
Ellis,V., & Loveless, A. (Eds.). (2013). ICT,pedagogy and the curriculum: Subject to change.Routledge.
Fulcher,G. (2015). Disablingpolicies?: A comparative approach to education policy and disability.Routledge.
Garrison,D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2013). Institutional change andleadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two casestudies. Theinternet and higher education, 18,24-28.
Kaiser,F., Maassen, P., Meek, L., van Vught, F., de Weert, E., &Goedegebuure, L. (Eds.). (2014). Highereducation policy: An international comparative perspective.Elsevier.