Friday, August 17, 2018

School and Technology

Everywhere you look there is a reminder that school is starting.  On Facebook, I am seeing posts from friends and family in the South who are showing their children's first day of school.  Others have children who are starting college and getting settled in their dorms.  Teachers, support staff, food service workers, and bus drivers are beginning their preparation for the new year.  It is a sign that summer is coming to an end and that academic challenges are ahead.

Teaching has changed a lot since I began teaching almost 40 years ago.  There is an emphasis on test scores and achievement data that wasn't as strong in those days.  Technology and our access to data has changed significantly.  Unfortunately, I don't believe that our teaching methods have changed at the same rate.  While classrooms have more computers available for students, the methods of teaching remain much the same as when I was a student.  

I watch my grandchildren effortlessly navigate all forms of technology every day.  If they have an interest in something, they can use technology to explore in-depth information about that subject.  Entertainment is available on their timetable.  Everything is presented in visually appealing media.  How can this compete with textbooks and lectures?  It can't!

In order to be successful adults, our children need to know how to learn-not how to pass a test.  I am hoping that education will take a good look at the needs and learning styles of students and the opportunities offered with changing technology.  It is time for a change in how we deliver instruction.  Students need to be encouraged to enjoy learning, to feel proud of their accomplishments, and to value knowledge; they should not feel the pressure of passing tests.  

I am happy to see more iPads and computers in the hands of students.  Classrooms are filled with smart boards, and teachers are looking for ways to encourage and motivate their students.  Let's keep these efforts moving so that technology and the joy of learning become an integral part of the daily lives of students.

Have you found your tech joy today?


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