“Cookie Cutter” Doesn’t Always Cut It

Over the past decade or so, and most recently the last few years, technology in the classroom has been a real hot topic in Idaho and across the country. How much funding is dedicated to improvements? Do we provide each student with their own device? What technology courses should be required and the use of technology in standard curriculum (IE, requiring PowerPoint presentations, number of hours of internet research, etc)?

Our state happens to be one of those that have rural areas just 30-60 minutes away from a major metropolis, as well as schools in very secluded areas of the state. Yet in those rural areas, not only is the technology itself lacking, but the ability to handle the bandwidth being used and even the rules being applied to students who choose to use their own devices – such as tablets and cell phones.

It’s important for administrators to look at the needs of their school and try to adapt what is being provided and encouraged at the state level, but make the most of those resources to help students prepare for the future.
As mentioned in the February 10, 2016, article on EdSurge.com by Mary Jo Madda, “We live in a world where students are seemingly born with a smartphone in their hand, and as such, it’s our responsibility as educators and adults to help them understand how best to use them. In that sense, why remove those technologies that students own? Why not instead use them for student learning—especially in low-income schools where devices aren’t present in the classroom?”

Technology is an ever-changing beast. It helps to find the right support system for your staff and administrators that specializes in these topics. The consultants at West Valley Technical Services work with districts and businesses of all sizes and can work hand in hand with your tech staff to find the best solutions for you – not offer you some cookie cutter ale cart program. Maximize your current resources, plan for future improvements, AND help find ways to monitor personal device usage with the help of our expertise.

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