Balancing stable educational goals with changing educational technologies: challenges and opportunities
This review is intended to provide a background for a wide range of educational technology endeavors while examining the challenges and opportunities of making effective use of educational technologies. However, despite the potential of these technologies, we conclude that while often used to support specific educational objectives, they must support a society's overall broader educational goals. Our historical overview indicated that for over two centuries (1800 to 2000) the USA's emphasis in education (educational goals adopted from Europe) has only changed twice and these changes are consistent with the four enduring goals identified at the beginning of this article64. Similar developments were noted in Europe, emphasizing the point that educational goals are relatively stable despite identifiable shifts among the prioritization of specific objectives. While new technologies offer opportunities for education and research, we should remember the challenges of the un-kept promises of the past as new technologies were introduced into education. Technology in and of itself is neither good nor bad. While technologies can be used to improve learning and instruction, they can also disenfranchise schools, teachers, and students when adequate financial and technical support is unavailable. The challenge the educational community faces is simply to make effective, efficient, and sustainable use of new technologies. As always, the goal is to help people learn better - namely, to develop responsible and literate citizens, lifelong learners, skilled and effective problem solvers, and critical thinkers who will lead the next generation into an even brighter future. (original abstract)
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