Implementing Educational Technology in K-12 Classrooms
The new technology culture of recent decades has changed the way students learn as they have been connected increasingly to the technology mediums for support and have mastered their use as learning tools. In schools technology access is increasingly available to engaged and empowered learners. Creating and empowering learners in an Electronic Learning Community is the goal of many instructional designers. By most accounts, it could be argued that the very essence of a virtual learning environment is the creation of a web of learning, a network of interactions; where the process of knowledge acquisition is collaboratively created and where evidence of critical thinking and empowerment are desired and this leads to effective instructional outcomes. Conrad and Donaldson (2004) speak about the “engaged learner” which includes, “active learning, social cognition, constructivism, and problem-based learning, all of which are student-focused learning with an instructor-facilitator environment” (p. 3). To accomplish these kinds of learning environment, instructional websites should therefore focus on the learning and de-emphasize the bells and whistles that do not add to instruction. The internet though a good learning tools, there are however, some ethical issues involved in bringing the World Wide Web into the classroom. These problems include ethical and copyrights issues. The general safety of students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade is also a concern when using the internet for instruction and learning. This paper discusses technology implementation in K–12 settings and provides guidelines for technology policy in schools.