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Marc Isseks presents to an audience on his new book.

Published July 16, 2019

Rapidly changing technology impacts learning

Doctoral student writes book regarding technology and education

Marc Isseks, a doctoral student from the Department of Learning and Instruction, wrote the book “Forward Fast: Making Sense of Education in an Era of Rapid Change,” which documents the changes that have occurred over the past two decades regarding education and technology. “When I first started teaching, I was making exams on a machine that was cranked by hand,” Isseks said. “Now, I watch teachers airdrop packets of information into their students’ iPads and it is just unbelievable.”

One of the main concerns Isseks mentions in his book is that the New York State (NYS) testing system needs to make better progress in adapting to new technology. “All of these transformations have occurred in the world over the past decade and NYS is still trying to iron out the kinks of computer-based testing,” Isseks said. “When you look at a test in NYS, it is just a computerized version of what you take on paper and that is not a transformation at all or even a reflection of the kind of change that we need to address.”

Isseks also notes that people spend a lot of money and time acquiring new technology in the classroom, but the argument he makes is that individuals need to know how to maximize the use of the technology rather than just having it be there. “It is not about the tools themselves,” said Isseks. “It is about how you use the tools that make the difference.”

As a third generation educator, Isseks always knew he wanted to obtain his PhD, but did not have the time. However, when he saw that GSE implemented an online PhD program in curriculum, instruction and the science of learning, he knew he had to take advantage of it. “I knew this online PhD program would work with the busy life of an assistant principal and family man, so I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity,” Isseks said. “I was thrilled to get accepted into my program and I couldn’t be more thankful for the position I am in now.”

Isseks is an assistant principal at New Hyde Park Memorial High School in New Hyde Park, NY. He hopes to expand his writing by getting his work published and he plans to record podcasts and present at conferences in the future. “I want to amplify my voice in whatever way I can,” Isseks said. “I want to have an impact on how teachers educate their students and just be a part of that conversation.”

Over the past two decades, Isseks has learned technology in this world is moving quickly and he encourages people to put themselves out there and have conversations that others will try to avoid. “I was taught early on that life is a marathon and not a sprint, but I am beginning to believe more and more that it is just a really long sprint because things are just changing too quickly,” Isseks said. “We must respect what other educators bring to the table and realize we are all on the same team trying to accomplish the same goal.”

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