“Educational technology is now more about pedagogy first and then choosing the appropriate tool(s) for the job.” – Kathy Schrock, USA
As an independent educational technologist with more than 20 years in the field, Kathy Schrock has experienced first-hand how technology has transformed education — not only by engaging students, but by helping teachers manage their classrooms. Today, Schrock is helping fellow educators do the same.
When she isn’t teaching at Wilkes University, Schrock travels both nationally and internationally to conduct workshops and presentations that demonstrate how technology can support classroom instruction. She also blogs about her insights on Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch, a platform that offers an “informal gathering place” for readers who want to learn the latest developments in education technology.
We recently spoke with Schrock to get her impressions on how emerging technologies are transforming the education experience for administrators, teachers, and students.
Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Kathy Schrock.
How have you seen technology transform education since you first became an educator?
The biggest change I have seen, mostly over the last 15 years, is that teachers can now create assessments that embed technology meaningfully to support teaching and learning. Educational technology is now more about pedagogy first and then choosing the appropriate tool(s) for the job.
What has been most exciting over the last five or six years is the ability of the teacher to allow student choice of the tool to complete the project. The online tools, apps and rich tools that work across [student] devices have opened up a world of choices.
How has technology improved administrative duties?
For the school administrator, the ability to easily communicate with educators, parents and the community, [while having] access to rich data for making decisions, has led to an entirely new workflow for those in that job.
For teachers, using technology for administrative duties such as attendance and grading, once it is set up, gives them more time to spend on gathering resources to support lessons and units.
How about student performance?
As long as the expectations for the assessment are clear, students thrive on having a choice [for] how to demonstrate mastery… When students are engaged in the process—whether that’s making a video, recording a podcast, creating an app, 3-D printing an object, interviewing an expert for information, or making a comic strip—they seem to be able to use divergent thinking and creative thinking to demonstrate that they have internalized the content. They turn the content into personal knowledge.
In addition, creation of a product for an authentic audience, for administrators, teachers, and students, encourages them all to do their very best.
In your opinion, how will digital devices and digital note taking impact education moving forward?
What is wonderful today is the crop of tools that allow easy curation and organization of content, coupled with searchable access to that information for personal use or for sharing with others.
My curation tool of choice today is Microsoft OneNote. The well thought-out navigation and organizational features allow me to plan my professional development sessions, share a notebook with a colleague for joint editing, use the new drawing feature for sketch-noting a TED talk, and use a tool like IFTTT to automate the creation of a OneNote page from information collected in another tool.
The ability to get to my synced information on any of my devices, as well as create an audio recording, extract text from a photo I took of a page in a book, and much more, [makes] OneNote one of the best curation and organizational tools available!
Together, Microsoft OneNote and Windows 10 for Education enable administrators, teachers, and students to achieve more. Discover how OneNote for Education can improve collaboration, organization, and learning and how Windows 10 for Education promotes more effective teaching and learning outcomes.
Independent Educational Technologist, Adjunct Professor
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA