Christina C. Puente, Ed.D. is a Clinical Instructor at Lamar University and a course professor in the Educational Leadership department in the College of Education and Human Development. She works with graduate students in their submission of three TEA state-required Field Experience Observations. As with many instructors in universities today, she is adapting to the evolving technology being implemented in classrooms and education workplaces. The graduate students she works with submit their Field Experience Observations through a digital platform throughout their practicum experience over the course of their program. Puente says, “This process is built, submitted, reviewed, assessed and students are provided professional feedback to assist in their growth as an educational leader.”

Puente has witnessed many trends within the industry but here are four that have specifically stood out to her. The first is the use of interactive digital programs to engage student learning in the classroom with their own devices. Second, is the use of analytics in data driven instruction on campuses. Third, is the industry embracing the use of learning apps on their campuses to improve students learning experiences. And fourth, is the improved learning environment of students by focusing on student progress and students well-being.

Puente says there are already a great many technologies available for use in the classroom, including:

  • Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets
  • Prezi
  • Portfolium
  • Cisco Digital Media
  • AMX by Harman and Google Hangout for study sessions
  • Skype and Kahoot for test prep and review sessions
  • Adobe Connect for lectures

Digital Portfolios allow students to build, utilize and save tools for later use while practicing leadership skills in the industry. Moreover, this technology allows video annotation and digital feedback on digital video submissions of Field Experience Observations, slideshows, assignments or portfolio submissions.

Puente says, however, that it is important to remember the use of technology is ever-changing in the industry of education. She believes the educational system will continue to be transformed with the use of technology. “To do this successfully the industry must be open to change and acquire individuals who are creative and innovative in their use and implementation of technology,” Puente says. “If not, the educational industry will suffer in providing an effective education for its students. In the future, educational leaders must be willing to pilot new technology, invest in developers who can build the programs to meet the needs of their school, as well as implement training for those who will be utilizing the technology in the classrooms.” In the end, she believes that technology can unlock learning for all who allow it to be part of their educational experience.