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Thoughts from ISTE: It Is Time for the Ed Tech Tipping Point

1 Jul 2015 by Amy Protexter

In talking with attendees today at International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), it struck me that we aren’t yet at the tipping point when it comes to technology-driven educational experiences for our nation’s students. Yet, looking around the gigantic trade show floor, there are more than a thousand exhibitors pushing a technology-rich agenda for teachers and students.


Talking with a teacher from a small rural district in Nevada, she lamented that they have little to no technology for students. Yet I would venture a guess that those students are carrying smartphones, have home computers and spend a good part of their non-school hours interacting with technology. She’s here to start building the case to move the district in that direction, too.


Another teacher from a district in Washington State is also working to build support among the school board, teachers, parents and his community to buy devices for students. I offered to spend a little time with him to think about a communication strategy that would help drive this effort to a successful outcome. 


When I step back from these conversations, it appears education is stuck in the past, as business presses aggressively forward into the future by employing intelligent technology to engage with customers and drive growth. It’s happening in retail, travel, banking, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing and many other segments. 


It’s time we give education its due — students today are more engaged when technology is present. It’s a requirement that they intimately know how to “work” with technology before entering the workforce. Our country needs to invest in our students’ and our nation’s future by going all-in with technology to support education.