Have you ever left your phone at home? For example, maybe you were on your way to work or dinner. What did you do? Did you go back home to retrieve your phone? Or did you spend the time feeling like you were disconnected?

Why would we feel incomplete without our electronic devices? Because we live in a technology-driven world. We can shop, order dinner, pay bills, read books, and connect with the world through our devices. Recently, I had a conversation with my students concerning the role of technology in education.

As an adjunct professor, I teach graduate courses to individuals who want to be administrators. The students are pursuing their educational leadership degrees. I challenge my students in the class to discuss a “hot educational topic.”

One of my favorite topics is the role of technology in the classroom. Why? Because it is one of the most debated issues in education. Today’s students are digital natives. They have grown up with smartphones. As a result, they are very comfortable with technology.

So my question to my students is, “What role should technology play in education?” Of course, this question leads to a spirited debate. While my students agree technology should be integrated into the classroom, they disagree on how.

Like my students, researchers also disagree on the role technology should play in education. According to research by Raja and Nagasubramani, “The use of technology has made the process of teaching and learning all the more enjoyable.”

However, in her article “To Harness the Power of Technology in Education-or-Not,” Randa Taftaf Galini cites research by Neil Selwyn. In his study, Selwyn said, “Much of what is written and discussed about educational technology is, therefore, more a matter of faith than it is a matter of fact.”

So as educational leaders, how can we harness the power of technology? Well, we can follow the advice of Keith Courville. In his research, Courville recommends that “Further development and use of educational technology for both teachers and students should be pursued as a worthwhile investment for educational achievement.”

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

– Bill Gates

As educational leaders, we aim to create the conditions for success for our students and teachers. We recognize and acknowledge technology is revolutionizing our way of life. Our electronic devices have both simplified and complicated our lives.

While technology is redefining education, we must remember it is a tool.

Are you harnessing the power of technology?


Are you a classroom teacher, school administrator, or central office staff member looking for more guidance? Then join me for the Moore Leadership Moment on YouTube.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.