NORMAN — Classroom technology can be a powerful tool for education — but only when it's used properly, a Canadian education innovator said Tuesday.
The trouble is that technology has developed so quickly that most education systems haven't been able to keep up, Michael Fullan told a crowd at the University of Oklahoma.
“We've pretty much bottomed out in the existing system,” Fullan said.
Fullan is a special adviser to the premier and minister of education in Ontario. He is also a professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He spoke at OU on Tuesday as a part of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education's Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Education Lecture Series.
In addition to his work in Ontario, Fullan serves as an adviser to education leaders worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Australia and across the U.S. He is also the author of several books dealing with education reform.
Technology is seductive and almost irresistible in classroom instruction, Fullan said. While it can be an effective tool, he said, too many educational systems of all sizes approach it as something to buy rather than something to integrate into the learning process.
Technology by itself shouldn't drive change, Fullan said. But it does have a powerful role to play in the classroom. It can help teachers engage students more effectively, he said. It also can allow them to teach their subjects more quickly, more cheaply and in greater depth than they have ever before.