By Brandon Juarez, MEd
Online Full-Time Faculty Manager, College of Education
There is little doubt the use of technology is here to stay. However, there seems to be a performance gap between the demands of the labor market and how schools are preparing future employees.
Although educators are among the top professionals to be lifelong learners (Horrigan, 2016), a fissure persists in terms of how technology is harnessed to increase learning outcomes for students. The nascent, almost ubiquitous, use of the Internet among all age groups and social constructs has created a shift in how students are expected to learn, grow and earn a living in the future (Rainie, 2009).
Are students being prepared for tomorrow’s world? Are schools doing everything possible to harness the evolution of instruction?
The genesis of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) brought along a wave of technology skillsets students are expected to master. For instance, one of the two government-funded assessment instruments to measure the standards is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
In a recent Education Week article, Herold (2016) notes a discrepancy in test scores among pupils who took the PARCC exam via paper and pencil and those who took the exam via computers; same test, different modality. If emails and the Internet are dominant technological tools in American workplaces (Purcell & Rainie, 2014), why are students so far behind in learning such skills?
In an effort to get in front of this growing problem, pre-service teachers must firmly establish pedagogical skills to implement on day one of instruction. During recent visits to neighboring schools to observe student teachers, it became clear K-12 students were eager to use technology in the classroom as part of their learning.
Additionally, it was evident that the veteran teachers were not prepared to meet those needs. On several occasions, the pre-service teachers were educating their mentor teachers of technology tools they were planning to implement during instruction. Educators can no longer afford to consider the use of technology as a superficial supplement to existing best practices. Rather, the successful use of technology as a vehicle to educate students is at the forefront of the 21st century learner.
A new dawn of learning has emerged. We must equip our future teachers to meet such needs.
With an education degree from Grand Canyon University, you can inspire minds and change lives. Learn more about GCU’s College of Education today!
- Herold, B. (2016). PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/03/parcc-scores-lower-on-computer.html?cmp=eml-contshr-shr
- Horrigan, J. (2016). Lifelong Learning and Technology. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from pewinternet.org/2016/03/22/lifelong-learning-and-technology
- Rainie, L. (2009). Teens and the internet. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from pewinternet.org/2009/01/09/teens-and-the-internet
- Purcell, K., & Rainie, L. (2014). Email and the Internet Are the Dominant Technological Tools in American Workplaces. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from pewinternet.org/2014/12/30/email-and-the-internet-are-the-dominant-technological-tools-in-american-workplaces
More about Brandon:
Brandon began his journey in education as a coach, teacher and athletic director in a Phoenix K-8 school, serving primarily in the middle school segment of the school. Brandon began his position at Grand Canyon University as full-time online faculty in August 2012 and expanded to the College of Education as an adjunct faculty on GCU’s main campus in the spring 2014. He received a promotion to manage a College of Education full-time online faculty team in April 2013.
In addition to his position at Grand Canyon University, Brandon also enjoys supporting GCU’s academic mission through his involvement as an adjunct instructor for the GCU College of Education campus, serving as a subject matter expert (SME) on special projects and site supervising educational administration interns and secondary education student teachers. In his spare time, he enjoys spending outdoor time with his wife and two children.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.