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Educational Technology and the Pre-K-12 Environment: Implications for Education Leaders, Teachers, and Students

Author Neil Grimes of William Paterson University shares an excerpt from an open access chapter, “Educational Technology and the Pre-K-12 Environment: Implications for Education Leaders,” Teachers, and Students. The implications in this chapter include the impact that educational technology had on education during remote teaching during COVID-19 and the impact it will continue to have on Pre-K-12 education in the post-COVID-19 era.

Educational technology has accelerated in recent years, and it has had a profound impact on current teaching and learning in the Pre-K-12 environment. In future years, advancement and innovation in technology will continue to empower teachers to customize students’ learning experiences. To accomplish this, teachers will need ongoing professional development, which includes engaging in learning activities associated with technology play theory that focuses on educational technology and technology integration involving the technology integration planning cycle. This article will discuss the impact of content neutral technologies on pre-K-12 grade levels and content areas, the use of educational technologies used in remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of TPACK, the importance of creating a sense of belonging in the online learning environment, the need for teachers to pursue micro-credentials related to digital learning, and the impact that virtual reality, augmented reality, the metaverse and artificial intelligence can have on teachers, administrators, and students. Governments, schools, and families increasingly value technology as a central part of the education process and invest accordingly. Technological innovation over the past two decades has forever altered today’s education landscape. ICT and content-neutral technologies will continue to empower Pre-K-12 teachers to change the way they teach their students in the 21st Century. Teachers and students in high needs schools will continue to need the greatest support to implement and use the latest ed-tech tools.

Teachers will need support and innovative ideas for navigating remote instruction without universal Internet access or devices for their students — particularly those in rural, high-poverty schools. States and school districts should seek innovative options and look to forming partnerships for professional development training in ed tech and digital learning tools with the 78% of colleges and universities in the United States where there are 1,206 teacher education programs that prepare all of our future Pre-K-12 teachers (Levine, 2007). Currently, there are 800 schools of education that are institutional members in the American Association of Colleges of Teachers of Education (AACTE) (AACTE, 2022). These partnerships should be formed with the schools of education at the colleges and universities that are also members of the AACTE. The partnerships can support current and future teachers in providing a high level of quality instruction to their students. Furthermore, partnerships with schools of education at college and universities can lead to the development and creation of teacher micro-credentials to meet the digital learning needs of today’s students while exploring ed-tech tools that could be used with or without internet access.
AACTE member institutions as well as all colleges and universities with teacher education programs should also consider supporting pre-service teachers to become Google certified and helping current Pre-K-12 educators obtain their Google certification. Higher education faculty at AACTE member institutions should explore ways that traditional classroom pedagogies and learning experiences can be transferred to a digital learning environment using the latest ed-tech and digital learning tools. Additionally, school districts across the United States should look to the approaching merger of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in January 2023, for future guidance in providing ongoing professional development and innovation in education. ISTE’s CEO, Richard Culatta, believes that the merger will be beneficial in the long run, saying that “the conversations around effective use of technology and innovation and redesigning and rethinking education just can’t be a separate conversation from how we are running and leading schools” (Young, 2022, para. 7).

Read the full open access chapter. For additional questions, email the author at grimesn@wpunj.edu.

Grimes, N. (2025). Educational Technology and the Pre-K-12 Environment: Implications for Education Leaders, Teachers, and Students. In M. Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Sixth Edition (pp. 1-21). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-6684-7366-5.ch015