Integrating technology into educational institutions is a necessity for aiding in preparing 21st century learners for their future experiences. “Technology is ubiquitous, touching almost every part of our lives, our communities, our homes” (Edutopia, 2008). Students of all ages need to have the opportunity to experience technology as a way to gather and share information that is both appropriate and meaningful. They need to feel comfortable with its applications that support daily activities. Integrated technology can provide students with these powerful experiences while enhancing traditional curriculum standards addressed in school.
Educational institutions have a responsibility to introduce students to career-based experiences through technology integration. Entering the workforce with the ability to interact and perform tasks is vital to their success in a globally competitive economy. Consistent use of technology in educational settings can provide students with current practices that lead them into the workforce. “Technology is continuously, and rapidly, evolving. It is an ongoing process and demands continual learning” (Edutopia, 2007). Students need to be comfortable with adjusting to changes in technology that can affect the use of the tool. In addition to students, educators need to stay current with technological trends and resources that can support their efforts in preparing students to enter the workforce.
Educational institutions need to teach students in the way they learn. According to Tony Wagner (2008), “Young adults who’ve grown up on the net are habituated to multimedia learning experience, as opposed to merely interacting with text” (p. 178). These Net Generation students are used to instant communication, multiple stimuli, and having information at their fingertips. Their ability to absorb large amounts of information at once needs to be used to their benefit in school rather than requiring them to slow down. “Young people thrive in a world of ever-changing images, constant updates, and immediate access to whatever information they may want” (Wagner, 2008, p. 177). Learning is not just memorizing information, but knowing how to find and apply information to develop creative and innovative solutions to real problems. Educational institutions need to provide students with situations in which they feel comfortable learning in order to take full advantage of the time students are in school.
Educational institutions need to embrace technology to provide students with as many relative experiences as possible. The more educators can support them early on in their education, the more experiences they will have to draw from. Students’ exposure to technology in educational settings will enable them to be prepared to be contributing members of society as they enter the workforce.
Edutopia. (2007). What is successful technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description
Edutopia. (2008). Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: The reasons are many. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
Wagner, T. (2008). The global achievement gap: Why even our best schools don’t teach the new survival skills our children need – and what we can do about it. New York, NY: Basic Books.