Graduates of the University of Iowa College of Education are trained to be technology leaders and a number of them working in the field have a similar idea about the classrooms of the future.
They envision a place where technology is welcomed, understood, and integrated into the fabric of teaching as an effective learning tool and a medium for information sharing. They all agree that besides just making technology available to students, educational decision makers and front-line teachers must have the know-how to make the best use of it.
Josh Ehn (MA ’11) is a tech-savvy principal with a special understanding of the relationship between technology and learning, thanks to his experience earning his master’s degree online through the College of Education’s Educational Leadership Program.
Ehn, formerly a teacher BCLUW Community School District in north-central Iowa, is now the principal at Melcher-Dallas High School in south-central Iowa. He believes school leaders are misguided when they resist the technology students use most frequently to interact with others, especially smartphones and social media.
“Our students have been born into an Internet-rich environment where they can access the Internet and social media anywhere, any time,” Ehn said. “A lot of people would call them distractions, but I believe we have to think about it in a different way, as a new way to engage students in active learning.