HIERARCHY OF NEEDS.TXT
by Richard White
You’ve almost certainly heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which describes five levels of needs, in ascending order, that lead toward fully realizing one’s human potential.
Those needs are summarized in the triangle below, with an important addition at the very base of the pyramid, courtesy of the Internets.
It’s funny in part because it’s true, at least as far as educational technology is concerned: if you don’t have a wireless signal at your school that students can use to access the Internet, well… it’s going to be pretty hard for you to do anything technology-related.
Okay, maybe you need hardware—I’ll give you that. But hardware by itself doesn’t really cut it anymore. (Yes, I know you’re leaning back and thinking fondly of the days when we could give a kid a multimedia CD-ROM, point them towards a computer, and pretend that we were teaching them. Those days are over!)
And depending on your classroom setting, the hardware issue may already be solved: your students are in a 1-to-1 program, or a Bring Your Own Device program… or maybe you’ve got a critical mass of smartphones that some of your students already own. There are lots of ways this could work out.
And from there, it’s up to you, you and the students, what you want to do with this technology, and how you want to leverage it. Web-based research assignments? Shared Google Docs (either via Google Apps for Education or students’ private Google accounts) for students submitting cooperative work? Web pages? Mobile apps?
With apologies to Maslow, then, here is an update Hierarchy of Needs for Educational Technologists. There are thousands of technology-facilitated things you can do in the classroom, but it all begins with a device and a connection to the Internet.
There are perhaps a few elements missing here: administrative support for new ideas, new hardware, or new software? And certainly professional development funding/time for inexperienced teachers is always needed.
What else have I missed? Or are these really the essentials that are needed for successful deployment of Educational Technology at a school?