Technology is a major initiative of the District - great effort has been and is being spent to provide hardware, software, services, and training to effect a positive impact on education at Forest City Regional. For technology to impact education, money is obviously important, but a real educational technology initiative is about more than the budget. Curriculum, planning, commitment, training, and buy-in by the faculty, administration, parents, and community are essential components, as well. A three-year technology plan, filed with and approved by the Board of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education in January 2010, provides direction for this initiative.
Contrary to popular opinion, owning massive technology resources as a District does not in and of itself improve education. It is essential that these technology resources be both used and used in the proper way in order to reap any appreciable benefit. In other words, schools must not only own the right types of technology, but they must also ensure that their teachers can operate it, the learning environment supports its use, and the curriculum integrates it. When a school ensures that all of this is taking place, it will reap great benefits from technology. In a technology-enriched learning environment, students can learn more, learn faster, learn more independently and learn for the long term.
In short, technology is a tool that, when used properly, is of tremendous benefit to education. To quote famed educational technology leader Alan November:
"When hanging a picture, you go to the hardware store to buy a drill bit to make the hole for the hook. You don't really need the drill, you need a hole, but the hardware store doesn't carry holes, only drill bits. While the drill bit is important, it is two steps removed from what really needs to be done, hanging the picture."
So, too, in education, technology is a tool. We do not teach students and teachers to use technology so that they can become technology experts. Rather, we teach students and teachers to use technology tools so that they may improve the quality of education.