Dr. Tim Clark, Vice President of K-12 Programs, 1EdTech
Our Response to The Nation's Report Card
Recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows significant and alarming, although not necessarily surprising, declines in student performance since 2019. Some experts will look at the data and try to determine what went wrong and how we should have responded when the pandemic forced us to close schools and completely rethink how we educate students.
There is value to learning from the past, and that analysis will be helpful, but I choose to focus on the future and how we get students back to where they need to be, without putting unnecessary burdens on the already overworked, stressed, and declining number of teachers.
Here’s the good news. We already have the tools to help students succeed as long as we’re willing to work together toward the solution.
I will not go so far as to say educational technology can solve everything, but it can be leveraged to make solutions more effective and efficient. To paraphrase one 1EdTech member, once everything falls apart, you have the opportunity to build it back the way you want it, not the way it was.
We have the opportunity to build an educational system that helps all of our students succeed, but we need to be intentional. Technology isn’t going away, so instead of treating it as a utility, leverage it to your advantage. The key? Bring your curriculum and IT departments together to create the digital ecosystem you need, and one that will have unlimited potential.
There are so many tools out there to choose from, and by creating an interoperable digital ecosystem, that is to say, the various systems and apps work seamlessly together, you allow the tools to not only educate kids but also lift some of the additional burdens from educators.
First, when the tools meet specific standards, you can create a single sign-on system, allowing teachers and students to access all of their tools without remembering different passwords or taking the time to work out the quirks of new products. This way, teachers and students can use the high-quality tools you select.
Not only that, but tools that work together have the ability to talk to one another, providing more valuable data to help guide lessons and to identify what students need the most help with specific subjects and tasks. Let the technology provide the necessary information without requiring teachers to sort through different reports and paperwork.
We haven’t figured everything out yet, as there is still work to do and inequities to address, but I am confident we will find those solutions together because we’re already seeing it in districts around the country.
So, as you evaluate your individual results and look for solutions, I encourage you to bring your curriculum and IT departments together to find ways to make your technology work for you. Also, don’t forget to reach out to us. Our 1EdTech staff and members are here to help because together, we power learner potential
About the Author
Dr. Tim Clark, vice president of K-12 programs for 1EdTech, assists schools and districts in adopting 1EdTech standards and practices to enable interoperable and secure digital learning ecosystems. He also provides strategic leadership and collaboration opportunities for K-12 institutional and state education departments within the 1EdTech Consortium.