The best way to decide which technologies to use in a classroom is to look at the performance profile of teachers. This will help identify which tools fit with the candidates’ skills and learning styles. These tools should not be used to entertain students, or for roles that are not intrinsic to learning. Professor Alan Jacobs of Baylor University said that it is easy to outsource charisma to machines. In other words, technology should serve explicit learning objectives.
The evolution of technology and the role it plays in teaching is evident in the history of education. The use of videotapes and photocopiers allowed teachers to add audio content to their lessons. The widespread adoption of personal computers made possible a wider variety of educational software, including the Internet. Similarly, the development of Learning Management Systems ushered in the use of electronic devices in the classroom. And of course, the emergence of the iPad brought tablets into the public consciousness.
The growth of digital content and high-speed Internet in public schools has made educational content more accessible. According to the National Education Technology Review, schools now allocate one computer to every five students. The federal government is leading a massive effort to provide high-speed Internet and free online teaching resources to every school. This initiative is expected to continue into the next decade, when more state standardized tests will be administered via technology.