The correlation between educational technology and individualized education seems related to the teachers’ or homeschooling parents’ need to focus attention on a single child or small group. For this purpose, a research based program promising growth is an obvious choice, but we can’t stop there. The best programs provide assessments and offer differentiated instruction, but students need more.
To accompany the technology, we have to remember that our children need human eye contact and a listening ear that shares a brain with a mouth capable of articulating wisdom and guidance. Whether the student is young or old, tackling math or a social problem, reading nonfiction or poetry, they need someone to listen to them and dialogue toward understanding, reflection, and growth. Mastering skill sets is only one small part of high quality education.
Policy makers and administrators are attempting to address this dilemma, yet many educators express that they are feeling personally and professionally exhausted as they try their best to provide individualized education to 20+ students a day while receiving mixed messages about the role technology should play. Could it be that these messages aren’t so much mixed as they are misunderstood, misquoted, and/or misapplied? Where do you think the break down begins? What experience and insight can you share?