Teaching With Technology: Philip Lacy

Welcome to Teaching with Technology! This series of guest posts asks educators to share how they integrate technology in their classrooms. These posts are written by a very special group, CK-12 Foundation’s Champions.

Today’s guest post is by Philip Lacy. He is the Director of Instructional Technology at Niles Township Community High School District 219 in Illinois.

How do you currently integrate technology in your classroom (e.g., products used, devices, etc.)?
We have a Ubuntu based 1:1 program using Free and Open Resources wherever we can: Moodle, Open Office, NROC content, other OER.

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom?
Change is always difficult. Helping teachers and administrators see the value and quality of OER content, in addition to the whole paradigm shift teachers must experience and embrace to enable a new instructional model to evolve in which technology becomes a seamless tool.

How have your students benefited from technology?
Just-in-time access to materials, equal access to computers/technology in the house and at school.
Increased opportunities for authentic learning, supplemented by the access to information facilitated by ubiquitous access to technology.

If money were no object, what would you like to see happening in your classroom with respect to use of technology?
1:1 student/family and faculty access to devices with universally available, platform-agnostic interactive and engaging content.

We hear the phrase “21st Century Skills” often with respect to technology and education. What are “21st Century Skills?”
Learning how to learn. Technology based research, analysis, and collaboration skills are becoming more valuable than rote memorization. Knowing and understanding which tools to use and how to use them (or where to find the information to do both) are increasingly important in a world predicated on change.

Describe the “classroom of 2040.” What’s different? What’s the same?
Students would have individual, non-standardized devices. The curriculum would be competency-based, with rolling enrollment and blended or virtual access. There would be no classroom per se, as anywhere two or more people meet to learn would be a “classroom”.