Sonoma County Office of Education

Technology for Learners

Establishing a Vision for Technology in Learning

Author: Rick Phelan
Published: 03.11.13

Some important questions about the role of technology in learning include:

  • How is technology supporting learners doing things they couldn’t do in any other way?
  • How does technology make learning more efficient?
  • How does technology make learning experiences more memorable?
  • How does technology improve access to ideas and information?
  • How does technology enhance and extend an individual’s abilities to express him/herself?

Technology moving forward These kinds of questions establish a basis for the purposeful use of technology. Sometimes schools purchase technology without having a clear picture of how technology will be used. Futurist and educator David Thornburg refers to this practice as “ready-fire-aim” thinking. In this situation, educators believe they’ll figure out what they are going to do with technology after they’ve bought it.

A more desirable strategy is to build a plan that involves educators creating a vision for the use of technology in a school. Involving teachers acknowledges their role in the successful integration of technology in learning: they establish learning environments, organize curriculum and instruction, and evaluate student achievement.

Take a look at how technology is used in other schools
The process of establishing a vision and plan for technology can begin by taking a look at how technology is used in other schools around the country. You don’t have to take lengthy expensive journeys to do this. The Internet and YouTube can help. Here are eight videos that demonstrate powerful uses of technology documented by the George Lucas Education Foundation.

It’s All Happening at the Zoo
Elementary Students Get a Wired Education
Hula to High Tech- Hawaiian Students Re-Create History
Students as Data Collectors
Connecting High School to College and Career
Anytime, Anywhere: Online Learning Shapes the Future
Tech Fueled Differentiation Instruction
Kinetic Conundrum

Blog: Technology for Learners