|Infusing Emerging Technologies into Education
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
For over four decades Barry Jahn has continuously strived to seamlessly integrate technology into education. By the mid 1980's, as head of the computer education department at Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon his visions regarding emerging technologies and their potential role in education began to materialize.
His efforts through the years include developing curriculum and staff development workshops for K-16 educational institutions, hybrid and full scale online/distance education courses in nearly every curriculum area; small business and education consulting; and sharing his vision at numerous local and regional conferences, seminars, school districts, and University Schools of Education. He recently completed a project with the Oregon Department of Education assisting in the assessment of District Ed Tech plans in regards to the new Oregon Diploma and OETS (Oregon Ed Tech Standards).
Barry recently retired as an adjunct professor and Technology Integration Specialist at Willamette University's Graduate School of Education.
In the past decade, Barry has witnessed a paradigm shift in the connection between technology and education. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the Google Apps, Blogging, Wikis, Mobile Computing, Text & Instant Messaging, and Cloud Computing have created a generation of students (the i-Generation), many who no longer
seek out technology simply as a tool to do research, write papers, or
even email. Many of today's students (and young new teachers) are often classified as digital natives whose very culture
is embedded in emerging technologies.
However, it is not uncommon when students (and teachers) enter the typical K-16 classroom, they're forced to power down in order to learn (eg., not allowed to utilize their own personal computing devices). But it doesn't have to be that way. Each year an increasing number of Districts are working through the barriers such that they better understand their role of supporting use of these essential tools for helping 21st-century teachers engage with their students' and make learning more interactive.
Barry is in agreement with many of todays' leading educators who feel we need to:
- Become effective at educating and supporting students (and new teachers) in their native culture.
- Embrace the power of the internet and emerging technologies to enhance teaching and extend learning opportunities.
- Focus more on preparing todays students for their future rather than our past.