PEORIA, Ill.-- You've probably heard the saying: 'technology is the wave of the future'. But now the question for many schools is how to integrate technology into the classroom to best serve students.
"It is so much a part of the kids environment that we'd be missing out if we don't find ways to integrate that," says Washington District 51 School Board member Chris Nichols.
Tuesday afternoon, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Policy Institute brought in Former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise to speak at a luncheon. Governor Wise is now the President of the Alliance for Excellence Education and wants to see an effective application of technology in every classroom.
"We've got to do a lot better for our students. We want the teachers to have the tools they need. This is a time to be developing strategies to truly improve education in our country," says Wise.
The Peoria Quest Charter Academy uses laptops, smart boards, and web-based programs.
But Principal Engin Blackstone says a good education requires balance, "My main concern is a socialization issue. It needs to be a nice blend of both. Still, interaction, working together, make it project based, problem based. But, meantime using the technology into this process is, to me, the best way."
Another challenge districts face is getting teachers on-board with a new way of teaching.
"Some teachers are very anxious and excited about it, and some have been very comfortable in their way of dealing with students," says Nichols.
Governor Wise says technology shouldn't scare teachers because it doesn't necessarily mean layoffs, like some may think.
In fact, it can enhance a teacher's role with real time information.
"The teacher is able to work with each student as an individual because he or she is assisted by technology as opposed to having to treat them all as one group," says Wise.
But perhaps the biggest challenge for schools across the nation is paying for the technology they need to be successful in this changing world.