Invest in Technology

Invest in Technology

Use technology in interesting, innovative ways to deliver education curricula.

Why this is Important

Technology is integrated in this generation’s DNA. They live, breathe and speak it, yet classrooms are only beginning to understand how to best incorporate technology into education in order to fully embrace its potential. The use of technology in the classroom enables collaboration among students as well as between students and teachers. It allows teachers do less content instruction from the front of the room in favor of hands on projects, and it opens up the door for more creativity on the part of students. As technology plays an important role in the day-to-day activities of businesses, using these tools in the classroom prepares these students to be able to use technology in the workforce in new and creative ways, increasing the competitiveness of our state’s economy.

Best Practices

Technology is playing a role in classrooms across the country. Moreover, technology can allow education to cross all boundaries. As one example, Khan Academy is a non-profit education organization that offers a free online collection of educational videos, with a mission of “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.” Created in 2006 by MIT graduate Salman Khan, the non-profit offers more than 3,000 lectures in subjects ranging from math to science. The Khan Academy lectures allow students, like Matthew Carpenter, a student at Santa Rita Elementary school in Los Altos, California, to learn material on their own, saving classroom time for application and integration of the material.

Several states have initiated successful technology initiatives such as Maine, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Texas.

Current Context in NC

Many programs incorporate technology into the education curricula. While this is not a comprehensive list, here are a few examples: 

  • LEARN NC, a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explains how to use some the most innovative and successful practices in the classroom including skype, videoconferencing, and electronic teaching portfolios.
  • The North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) provides an online course offering for North Carolina students. There are courses that provide remedial education to advanced placement courses for students who want to learn additional material. The courses utilize what is known as Blackboard, a course management software to increase student interaction in each class. Courses are taught by teachers who utilize video, interactive whiteboards and other creative tools to engage students.
  • NC 1:1 Collaborative – The 1:1 Learning Collaborative an organization affiliated with the Friday Institute at North Carolina State University, is an initiative designed to support secondary schools. Each student and teacher at a 1:1 Learning Collaborative school receives a laptop computer and wireless Internet access is provided throughout the building.
  • East Mooresville Intermediate School has issued laptops to all their students and teachers now integrate technology throughout the classroom. The effort was highlighted in the New York Times recently. Students collaborate in small groups using computers and students crowd-source their own ideas with Google Docs, as just one example..
  • Anson New Technology High School has integrated technology and collaboration techniques through project-based learning. All students graduated last year, and nearly all are going to college, despite a community that historically had problems with drop outs and little interest in higher education.
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Other Resources

College Board Policy and Advocacy Center

Teachers are the Center of Education: Writing, Learning and Leading in the Digital Age.

Coalition of Essential Schools, whose mission is to integrate social networking into the curriculum.

Educase, Ben McNeely, Using Technology as a Learning Tool, Not the Next Cool Thing.