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Technology Innovation and K-12 Education

Technology In The Classroom

Hewlett-Packard education technology expert George W. Warren reveals the latest technology tools and trends and discusses their possible applications in K-12 classrooms. Included: Learn about tablets, data storage and management systems, and more.

George W. Warren

George W. Warren is Hewlett-Packard's director of K-12 education marketing for North America. He leads strategic planning, marketing, and communications efforts to identify and promote those products, solutions, and services that best meet the needs of K-12 educators.

Warren joined HP after seven years with Dell Computer Corp., where he was K-12 marketing manager. In that role, Warren was responsible for building the K-12 business, first as an inside sales representative and then through various roles in business planning, sales, and marketing.

As the father of four, Warren has a strong incentive for keeping abreast of technology innovations, and a vested interest in providing educators with information about those innovations that can best help them meet the needs of their students.

Education World recently spoke with Warren about the latest technology tools and trends and their applications in K-12 classrooms.

EW: What are some of the top trends you see -- either in terms of being widespread or in terms of having the most potential to affect teaching and learning?

GW: On one hand, market forces are pushing technology to be priced as a commodity, so there is less and less money to dedicate to development; on the other hand, we have to innovate, because that's what leaders do.

For that reason, we talk a lot about the tablet. When it comes to new things that are happening, nothing is more exciting than the tablet.

Comparable in size to a pad of paper, a tablet is a fully functioning computer. Users can operate it simply by touching the screen. A tablet can be connected (wirelessly) to the Internet or to a network. Countless applications (apps) exist for these devices.

Until now, in techno-speak, mobility has meant "not plugged into a wall," i.e., powered by an independent battery and connected wirelessly to the Internet. Based on that definition, the traditional notebook computer was seen as mobile -- although it's not truly mobile. Notebook computer users can't walk around while using one; they have to be sitting down (unless they're using some kind of stand on wheels).

The tablet, therefore, is the first truly mobile, full-fledged computer.

Outside of education, we're going to start seeing tablets everywhere, in the areas of public safety and health care, for example.

EW: What about other technology trends for education? I saw an article about a school district in New Jersey that scans people's irises to see whether they're allowed on the school's campus. Is high-tech security going to be a big trend in schools?

GW: Security is a trend, but what's really interesting about where we are with technology is that we're going to start seeing uses beyond the obvious for a lot of these innovations. In elementary schools, for example, handwriting recognition will have special-ed applications. It's going to take a while, however, for schools to find the right applications for high-end innovations.

At HP, we're developing some new projects with major content folks. But educators also are going to have to just put some of these technologies in place and see what they really do best.

EW: How do you stay on top of the latest trends and learn about potential applications of technology in schools?

GW: I travel quite extensively and see a lot of technology use right in the classroom. For example, last week, I was with Pomona School District outside of Los Angeles; this week I'll be in Newport News, Virginia; next week I'll be in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, we have 50 people, more or less, in the field; our inside organization includes more than 100 people; and about 400 resellers are out in the communities. So, we stay in close touch with the school market. We also do a lot of research.

You have to stay on top of technology use in education, because it's changing fast, and what you knew yesterday is what was happening yesterday.

EW: Do any "bottom-up" innovations spring to mind -- something a teacher or school did or asked for that turned out to be bigger than expected?

GW: Sure. New things are happening all the time. Right now, some of the most interesting things are happening on the enterprise front with storage. Schools and educators are looking for ways to handle all the content their students create. So data warehousing and managing digital content are big issues. Technology companies are springing up, sometimes state-by-state, to answer those demands.

Testing and assessment are also big trends, of course.

All in all, these are exciting times to be in the educational technology market.


Credit: Photos courtesy Hewlett-Packard


Article by Forrest Stone
Education World®
Copyright © Education World


Updated 01/30/2012