Amy:Amiel, Samis Foundation
“I wanted to let you know that we will be using your e-book as a text for our cohort of technology integration specialists this year! I am so excited to use it and pleased that we have a guide with Jewish content to supplement the largely secular tech integration work we promote.”
David Carpenter has served as an Educational Technologist at the Alexandria Country Day School in Alexandria, VA, the Washington International School in Washington, DC, and the Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax County, VA
Instructional technologists often start conversations with teachers by asking the question “what do you want your students to learn?”
Stanley Peerless and Smadar Goldstein, the authors of EdTech by Design, do the same with their readers by asking “what can EdTech do?” They go on to point out that schools need to move past the days of students as passive receivers of information by moving away from teacher directed to student directed learning. The authors guide their readers to start thinking about setting goals in how to effectively use technology to enhance learning.
Peerless and Goldstein summarize current EdTech best practices by sharing “six categories of interactivity” that paint the picture of what active and connected learning looks like. Central to their approach is a focus on instructional practices. They emphasize that EdTech is much more than just looking at technology, it is about designing learning activities that stretch students to engage their higher level thinking skills. Peerless and Goldstein warn about taking a “technocentric” approach to using technology in our schools, where too much focus is on hardware and software instead of curriculum design and professional development.
As we do in instructional technology, after asking questions and setting goals, we then move to bring in stakeholders to develop action plans. Peerless and Goldstein provide this same model, outlining to readers the steps to follow to find ways to support and transform learning by leveraging technology.
The world of EdTech is expansive and at times overwhelming with information. It sometimes incorrectly focuses too much on the latest tools and figuring out ways to use them. Peerless and Goldstein provide the wisdom of experience to summarize what really works, looking at the power of collaboration not only for students but also for teachers. Smart use of EdTech is about making connections, collaborating and creating in order to further learning in one’s community. The authors offer this pathway to follow through their concise, readable and well-documented eBook.
School leaders would be well-advised to provide copies of EdTech by Design to their community members to provide a framework for effectively using technology to truly enhance teaching and learning.
Glen Morris, Executive Director Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC)
“Indeed concise and practical, EdTech by Design is an important read for administrators. Stanley Peerless and Smadar Goldstein clearly bring readers up-to-date on trends of integration, by ‘making sense of the noise’ when considering efficacy, with a focus rather on using technology in a manner that creates more meaningful learning activities. I most of all enjoyed their discussion on goals to expand student interactivity facilitated by web-based educational technology, to impact learning in the classroom and beyond. The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration celebrates this work by the authors, which is sure to help school districts strategically develop ed tech programs for all learners.”