Technology and education
Mastery of technology as a catalyst for systemic change
The K-12 education system needs to change. This phrase has been spoken for centuries, and millions of educators and billions of dollars have tried to make this change. John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Seymour Papert, Jonathan Kozel and many others have spent their lives developing proven models of teaching and learning. National efforts such as “A Nation at Risk” (United States, 1983), Technology Innovation Challenge Grants (US Department of Education, 1995) and “No Child Left Behind” (United States, 2001) are just three examples. recent efforts. to change schools systematically. So why have these efforts not resulted in significant changes? Why have we read every year for a century that “the K-12 education system is in crisis?
This article will argue that three factors are now (2021) different and may result in not only significant educational reform, but also overall systemic change in systems beyond education. The article will then propose that technological culture is the catalyst to take these new factors into account and create global systemic change. This article will further provide five suggested solutions that could be implemented by K-12 schools that can address both technological culture and systemic change.
Zachary Stein (2019) in his book “Education in a Time Between Worlds” summarizes what the current reform of the education system should involve and why it is essential for reforming systems beyond education.
“Those concerned with ‘fixing’ the existing school system don’t stop to ask questions about what schools are, who they serve and what kind of civilization they perpetuate. As I said, our civilization is in transition. Across the planet, major transformations are underway – in the global system and the biosphere – which will decenter the core, reallocate resources and recalibrate values, the economy and nature itself. That is the task of education today: to meet the almost unimaginable design challenge of building an education system that provides for the re-creation of civilization during a transition of the world system. This challenge brings us face to face the importance of education for humanity and the fundamental questions that structure education as a human enterprise. “
This article goes beyond reforming the K-12 education system. It’s about changing all systems. We will present a case on how to meet the challenge identified by Stein of “rebuilding an education system that provides for the recreation of civilization during the transition of the global system”. We will suggest that achieving this reconstruction is now possible for three reasons: urgency, technology and the infusion of youth. We then argue that mastering technology from Kindergarten to Grade 12 is a key catalyst for achieving systemic change. The article will end with five examples of how schools are starting to rebuild the education system to achieve the above goals.
Define technology culture, catalyst and systemic change
Before making a case for K-12 technology mastery as a key catalyst for systemic change, we need to clarify our definitions of the three main terms in the title of this article.
Kindergarten to Grade 12 Technology Proficiency – What Does It Mean for a Kindergarten to Grade 12 Student to be Tech Proficient? What should a high school student know after graduating from high school? Being literate in any field is always a moving target. As time goes on, more history occurs, more literature is written, more science is discovered, etc. Technological culture is perhaps the most fluid of all literacies. The current pandemic has shown that first graders have had to master distance learning applications and cloud-based environments, skills that until now were not considered necessary.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has addressed technological culture over the past 20 years by developing the ISTE Comprehensive Standards for Students (ISTE, 2016). These standards divide technological culture into seven key elements.