Epilogue - Moving into the Future

The purpose of the book is to demonstrate the ways in which technology can be used in a meaningful learning environment as tools to engage and provide support to students. Examples have been provided in the book of how to create engaging learning environments. Because the level of technology comprehension and access to technology vary across schools, the purpose of the text is to show how to generalize ideas to teaching and learning situations instead of teaching step-by-step directions for certain technologies.

21st Century Teachers

Meaningful learning and the knowledge, skills and standards related to the students you are fostering are the focus throughout this book. Students might meet potential NETS and 21st Century Skills from the described learning activities. As an evaluation for your teaching performance, you may be interested in ITSE's NETS.

Teachers are able to connect with and learn from other teachers through the emergence of technological innovations. Teaching has almost instantaneously changed with the explosion of blogs, social networking sites, Twitter accounts and Wikis, from what was historically been an isolated profession, contained within classrooms, to an exchange of ideas from practitioners around the world. One can gain insight and ideas from what others are doing through subscribing to blogs or joining online communities. Meaningful dialogue, resulting from engaging in online community activities, can open the door to new professional connections and growth.

Important New "Common Sense" Criteria You Might Want to Think About

Theory The technology being introduced in classrooms will be used to reinforce outmoded methods of teaching and learning.
School districts should focus on implementing technology for one purpose: to help teachers adopt new teaching practices for managing their classrooms.

In a given classroom:
  1. Are the teacher and students engaged?
  2. Are students constructing their own knowledge?
  3. Does the classroom environment resemble a real workplace?

Does Technology:
  1. Help the teacher and students learn better, easier and more quickly?
  2. Encourage students to manage their learning?
  3. Encourage the teacher to share their responsibilities with the students?
  4. Encourage teachers and students to nurture a learning environment?
  5. Foster increased student manipulation of real-world materials?
  6. Increase communication and cooperation among students?
  7. Stimulate individual and group thinking?
  8. Encourage students to handle real-world materials?
  9. Promote beneficial communication among students and teachers?
  10. Encourage student's efforts to gain understanding of new concepts and function comfortably with them?
  11. Provide for multiple approaches to learning focusing on student's strengths?
  12. Support effective change-management skills for students' changing intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being?
  13. Stimulate a mutually respectful classroom environment?
  14. Foster a communal environment which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgable, and caring students through intercultural understanding and respect?
  15. Increase student's and teacher's self-confidence?
  16. Increase limit student's and teacher's expression of humanity?
  17. Foster creativity, inspiration and innovation? Are student and teacher's lives benefitting morally?