NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Press Release: For Immediate Release
Benefits Outweigh Challenges for Technology in Schools
TRENTON, N.J. – June 23, 2010 – Despite the recent budget cuts, schools should continue to invest in technology for the classroom, according to the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. The benefits of technology far outweigh the challenges, which include funding, says the NJASA.
“Technology is where we get our information,” said Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. “But we ask students to power down when they come to school. If we take away technology tools in the classroom, we’re forcing students into an antiquated model of education that originally was designed to prepare our citizens for factory work. If you think about it, we’d be doing a great job of preparing kids for 1950. That’s not going to keep our students competitive as they later enter the global workforce.”
“We have gone beyond the use of technology for the sake of technology,” added Dr. Bozza. “Now it’s a critical part of learning.”
The new statewide curriculum standards, requiring students to master 21st-century skills, have made technology a vital part of the curriculum and not simply a tool to engage students, according to the NJASA.
The NJASA Technology Committee is staying on the cutting edge of technology in New Jersey classrooms, which now includes laptops, Smart Boards and electronic readers as regular components. Students are using technology in a variety of ways, from videoconferencing with other classrooms across the country to writing wikis and blogs to trying to solve an environmental challenge. In this new educational model, teachers are facilitators rather than lecturers. The NJASA Technology Committee will continue to keep administrators current, and ahead of the curve, on how to integrate educational technology into the classroom. Future focuses will include the controlled use of Web 2.0 and social media in education.
While the NJASA recognizes the value of technology, the association does not discount its challenges, including—in the wake of recent budget cuts—funding.
“You don’t have to invest $1,500 or more in a Smart Board,” noted Dr. Bozza. “You can achieve a similar effect with one computer and a projector. You also can utilize free software, which is abundantly available. But the commitment to technology now can save school districts money in the long term, with online learning replacing elective classes and summer school.”
“The bottom line is that there is a whole different model of education out there,” Bozza says. “Doctors, lawyers and business executives are completing their professional development online, and nearly all professions, including many of the trades, depend upon technology for success. Let’s give this advantage to our students so that the 2010-11 kindergarten classes in New Jersey will be up to speed when they graduate in 2023.”
Education Brief Videos Explain Budget Considerations
Due to the complexity of the school budget cuts and the effects that will be felt in schools across the state, the NJASA has released a series of videos to help parents and taxpayers better understand the issues and potential aftermath of the events and changes that may follow. Each video can be accessed on a special NJASA YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/TheNJASAor by clicking on the YouTube icon on the NJASA website, www.njasa.net.
The New Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of Chief Education Officers and school administrators who lead school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both an educational and an administrative perspective. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all New Jersey’s children.
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