Excellence In Education As A National Priority

Learning is a complex process. We learn by building on past experiences; by trying; by starting with simple tasks and combining them over time to accomplish more complex ones; and through insight and understanding of the relationship between different parts of a problem. Research shows that for teaching to be effective, a learner must be able to create meaningful relevant patterns. The learning process must be maintained in a context of appropriate and demanding standards.

If our children are to fulfill the promise of American life, we must accept the premise that standards are the surest path to excellence. Parents and educators should inculcate this ethic of excellence in schools by raising standards of achievement for both students and educators. Higher expectations of students, teachers and education systems are crucial. Technology is a means to achieve a higher level of learning. With excellence in education a national priority, educators are evaluating how new technologies can be used to support evolving patterns of communication and the roles of students and teachers that are characteristic of the new teaching methods. These teaching methods allow students to explore their questions in a variety of ways.

As the use of technology becomes more common in our schools, there are key environmental features that should be in place to maximize the benefits of educational technology:

– District-level involvement and a school-level computer coordinator are key factors in developing a school environment that encourages the effective use of technology. Leadership and technical support are key elements for successful programs.

– School districts and teacher preparation programs must provide incentives, time, and support for teachers to see the benefits of technology and become comfortable using it in the classroom.

– Teachers must enable the student to pursue interests, develop understanding and communicate knowledge. Students need to be encouraged to be creative and explore their questions.

Educators recognize the importance of fostering independent judgment, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in students. Student learning can be enhanced through tutorials and various communication technologies that allow investigation of real-life problems faced by professionals. Although these teaching strategies are complex, they provide authentic learner experiences and challenge personal exploration, resulting in student-led learning where the teacher acts as a valuable resource and guide.

The rapid increase in government and corporate funding of educational technology has led to numerous studies on the subject:

– Technology has a positive impact on student performance (both in mainstream and special education) from preschool to high school.

– Technology has a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards learning and students’ self-concept.

– The introduction of technology into the learning environment can make learning more student-centered, encourage collaborative learning, and stimulate increased teacher-student interaction.

Technology can make the learning process more efficient without deviating from established educational goals. Once the individual has mastered the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and oral communication, the learning experience can be further enhanced through computers, distance learning, computer-based instruction with integrated learning systems, computer-based laboratories, presentation software, and telecommunications.

Integrating technology into the classroom offers very significant benefits. More effective planning sessions and better accommodating of different learning styles allows teachers to focus on the needs of each student. This emphasis also allows the teacher to set developmentally appropriate expectations for each student, thereby enhancing individual learning. In these efforts, teachers orchestrate learning rather than serving as brokers of knowledge. Classrooms can contain more collaboration and interaction in small groups, allowing for a student-centric focus.

While educational technology encompasses numerous delivery modes and support mechanisms, the computer is often a key component. Several researchers have studied the effects of computers on the learning process. Research confirms the benefits that technology brings to the learning process. However, its availability and usage are problems that educators face. One of the bigger challenges is the daily integration of these tools into the teaching process.

Thanks to Megan Wilson | #Excellence #Education #National #Priority

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