During the FETC Eye Opener Keynote, Jamie Casap, Google Inc.’s global education evangelist, challenged educators to “continuously iterate education.” And, while he suggested that technology might be a tool to help with that challenge, he cautioned about giving it too much credit.
“Technology is not the silver bullet. Great education is the silver bullet. Technology is there to support and enable great education,” said Casap. “We have to continuously ask how we can use technology to innovate in learning, because if we don’t then all we’re doing is potentially taking bad elements of education and making them faster and more efficient."
To foster innovation, Casap advocated the following:
- Encourage Students to Dig Deeper. Casap freed all educators from the job of being a search engine—just dispensing information and answering questions. “It’s our job to embed in our kids the desire to understand something deeper,” he said.
- Support Teachers in Innovating. Casap believes today’s teachers will innovate learning, but they need support. “Learning will look different because of the generation of teachers that we have in the room today,” said Casap. “Teachers are the most critical component in a kid’s education. And, it’s our job to provide them the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to help these kids thrive.” In addition, he suggested that school administrators need to provide teachers with the latitude to try new things in the classroom.
- View Technology as Today’s Educational Infrastructure. Just as we don’t expect schools to be without desks and electricity, we cannot expect them to operate without technology. “We have to realize that technology and the web and the apps that we use and the content that we need to reach—that’s all part of the infrastructure,” he said, noting that only with the right infrastructure can teachers truly pursue new learning models.
Recently, Google launched the new Google for Education Learning Center to support training and professional development of teachers globally. The Learning Center features online lessons on Google tools, Google exams and certifications, and teacher resources.