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Microsoft’s VP of Education Warns Against Education Strategies That Revolve Around Tools, Not Agenda

Microsoft’s VP of Education Warns Against Education Strategies That Revolve Around Tools, Not Agenda

Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft gave some words of advice to government agencies and school leaders about the strategy behind implementing EdTech.

In a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, says Gov Insider, Salcito warned against developing strategies that focus on implementing new tools rather than consider the bigger picture of improving student achievement.

In order to best strategize for the future, Salcito recommends that policy leaders design 20-year plans to acknowledge the rapidly changing world of technology. Five-year plans "do not allow countries to prepare for their digital future,” he said according to Gov Insider.

When agencies implement policy that focuses on new equipment such as devices or equipment that improves connectivity, Salcito says they are leaving their school staff unprepared and ultimately are neglecting to bring about positive change. He compared this to “constantly patching a leaky boat.”

"Teachers aren’t prepared, school leaders aren’t prepared, change doesn’t happen universally, the curriculum isn’t aligned,” he said.

Salcito isn’t the first voice to warn those working in education about the negative impact focusing on technology over a vision can have.

Articles like “It’s Not About the Device, It’s What You Do With It” urge leaders to ask the “what device should I buy" question last, not first.

"Districts should start with asking themselves how they want to improve learning,” the article’s author Daniel Owens says, and only after should districts “determine which technology resources are available to assist in attaining these goals.”

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

11/15/2016

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