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article imageNYC school principal talks digital transformation of education Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 1, 2018 in Technology
New York City elementary school principal Michael Swirsky opened up about the digital transformation in the field of education. Digital Journal has the scoop.
A veteran educator and principal, Swirsky shared some of the most useful apps that he uses for his job, in an effort to work more efficiently.
Regarding the impact of technology in the field of education, Swirsky said, "I never would have predicted that students as young as age seven would be creating 3-dimensional designs using CAD (computer-aided design) software and printing out their designs using 3D printers."
As a New York City public school administrator, Swirsky is an avid user of technology in his daily work routine. "I utilize technology daily in many different ways," he admitted. "With this job it is very easy to be overloaded with paper. The less paper in my life, the better. I utilize the app Evernote to help organize all of my paper. With Evernote, I digitally scan all my paper and tag each one with keywords to easily find them when needed. With each note, I can set timers to remind me of when they need to be addressed."
"I also use a customized Google Form when conducting observations. This form allows me to do my observations efficiently getting feedback to teachers quickly. My daily schedule is digital on my iPhone and it reminds me 20 minutes before an event occurs. Our office staff uses Google Docs folders to organize all of our front office letters, dismissal plan, and all team meeting minutes."
Swirsky acknowledged that over the last two decades, the biggest change in public school classrooms is the mobility of technology. "Being able to be anywhere in a building and utilize the power of the Internet is a game changer. For example, my physical education teachers can be in the gym or outside with an iPad and use an app like Coach's Eye to capture a student's performance and technique with a physical task like throwing a basketball and help to analyze a child's movement in order to give them feedback for the next steps."
The veteran educator continued, "In classrooms, students have the ability to spread out and do work in an environment that is conducive to their learning. They don't have physical restrictions. When I started teaching in 1996, we had four desktop computers in the back of the classroom. Students were restricted to that one location and to specific installed software and they didn't have the collaboration tools that we have today. Today, students have unlimited mobility with the use of Chromebook tablets and iPads as well as a host of apps and software that allow them to collaborate on projects."
Regarding the future of the education field, in the next five years, as a result of digital transformation, Swirsky responded, "My hope is that the technology that we use becomes more seamless especially for reluctant users. I find that many educators that shy away from technology is because it causes more problems for them as opposed to making their work easier."
Swirsky's concluding thoughts about digital transformation in the field of education are as follows: "I hope that we as a society don't lose focus on the fact that technology is just a tool. I do hope that educators and parents thoughtfully plan when it comes to the use of digital tools for our children so that students are using technology to transform their learning and not just using it as a replacement for older technologies, and that there is a healthy balance between screen-time and face to face time."
More about digital transformation, Education, Principal, Michael Swirsky, NYC
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