PERRY, MI, September 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Dr. Beverly Knox-Pipes
has more than 40 years of experience in education and has witnessed the changes that technology has brought about. She is a pioneer and leader in information technology and distance education and has extensive knowledge and experience in the field. A recent article
in MindShift explores how technology companies are aiming to transform education. Dr. Knox-Pipes offers her insight into these developments and the challenges that the education industry faces.
For years textbook publishers such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have dominated the education industry. Technology companies are looking to break into the market and transform education practices by incorporating more technology into the school systems. One of the problems they face, however, is funding. Not all schools have access to the same amount of funding to purchase technology. Education is a very political field and there are restrictions on public funding use and distribution. Big companies are having a more difficult time reaching districts and teachers have turned to products offered by start-up companies.
Start-ups often offer free trial periods or products that allow users access to basic features for free, but in order to use more advanced features, they have to pay. Investors put their money into products that they think might succeed in the classroom, but there is no telling what will ultimately become popular. They are trying to find ways to make a profit and improve how students access material and information. But, according to Dr. Beverly Knox-Pipes, they should focus on the bigger issues.
"This is nothing new," she states. "Tech companies have always chased the buck in education. The problem is public education has NO MONEY!! Loss of funding due to legislative mandates as well as economic impacts have severely impacted the bottom line in school districts who need help the most. There is a systematic flaw in the approach of tech companies to public schools always thinking their shiny-new devices are going to be the thing that transforms education. The bottom line is, they do not understand how children learn. They do not understand how to support the school leadership and how to team with them in helping their district meet average yearly progress, excel on standardized tests, or convince communities that educators are bright, innovative and passionate about kids and their learning success. The hype of technology often gets in the way of reality."
She explains the role and use of technology even further noting, "Yes, the tools have changed and they need to change, but understanding the individualization of learning and what it takes to make the 'grade' is more than having the latest and greatest device or software. It is about helping teachers naturally integrate the tools that best meet the needs of kids, particularly teachers who are still reticent about using technology because of lack of support and training. Not use fancy new gadgets 'just because' they are the latest and greatest. Some of the greatest teachers do not use technology even a little bit, mostly because of the infrastructure and access issues in their schools. Companies interested in truly making a difference for schools should put their time and energies into making sure all schools in all regions of our country have equal access to experts and other resources via telecommunications infrastructure that will truly level the playing field and allow all students to have the same opportunities. The politics are huge in schools because so many sanctions are imposed on the use of public funds. Therefore, public education will continue to be the 'final frontier' in the use of the Internet and modern technologies unless other things change as well." Dr. Beverly Knox-Pipes has played an instrumental role in the implementation of technology in several school districts.
Dr. Beverly Knox-Pipes
has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the educational field. She earned her Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, her Master of Education degree from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA and her Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., focusing on Instructional Technology and Distance Education. She has served in positions of increasing responsibility throughout her career and has earned numerous honors and awards for her work. Countless students and educators have benefitted from her work and the access she has provided them to valuable resources for learning.