The Promise of Technology to transform Education

Online Learning; Research; Technology
The Promise of Technology to transform Education
Over the years we have heard much about the potential for technology to transform schooling.
Seymour Papert, wrote in 1984 about dramatic changes in schooling with the advent of the desktop computer; "There won't be schools in the future …. I think the computer will transform the school. That is, the school defined as something where there are classes, teachers running exams, people structured in groups by age, following a curriculum—all of that…. But this will happen only in communities of children who have access to computers on a sufficient scale."
Despite such claims by many eminent thinkers and innovators the fact is that schooling has remained remarkably stable and its introduction into schools hasn't resulted in the types of transformation that has been predicted.
Larry Cuban has conducted research into teacher and student uses of new technologies in preschool and kindergarten, high schools, and universities. His research was published Oversold and Underused: Computers in Classrooms (2001). He could be described as a skeptic about the role of technology in reform. Larry poses the hard questions about the levels of hype and misdirected investment in education without a proper pedagogical rationale.
There is no doubt that schools have changed – they have integrated technology - we see interactive whiteboards in classrooms, laptop computers and tablet devices being used by teachers and students. However all the hardware and software in schools has not fundamentally changed how teachers teach and how students learn.
The Evolution of Educational Technology: Infographic
We have not witnessed the type of changes that technology has brought to other professions such as medicine, engineering, finance, communications and to business. As educational leaders we have the responsibility to leverage the enormous investment in technology in our schools to benefit students and to equip them with the knowledge, skills and dispositions they will need to thrive in a rapidly changing and complex world.
The challenging question for educators is 'how can we leverage the significant investment in hardware and software to yield the types of transformation in schooling and teaching and learning that has been promised?'
We were privileged to have Rueben Puentedura presenting at Bastow's first Twilight seminar.  Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura is Harvard Technology Fellow and the Founder and President of Hippasus, an educational consulting firm focusing on transformative applications of information technologies to education. The basis for Hippasus is to be found in Dr. Puentedura's eighteen years of work in educational research and reform.
I believe that Ruben's research provides insightful and practical help to support educational leaders to bring about the transformation in teaching and learning that is founded in a strong pedagogical rationale.
Ruben developed the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) and the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) models. The SAMR and TPACK models support selecting, using, and evaluating technology in education.
Dr. Puentedura's current work explores new directions in mobile computing, digital storytelling, learning analytics, and educational gaming, focusing on applications in areas where they have not been traditionally employed. You can find more about Ruben's research and its application to education on his blog