Whatever you may believe about public education today improvements should be on everyones agenda. The bright future of education with technology provides new ways for students to gain rich experiences for a fraction of the cost of years before. Students can easily experience safe content monitored information super highways and gain information with ease; it might be obvious why this might worry many. Are we creating a digital dependency in students to just look everything up on Google? If so, is anything wrong with that? What do you really know about the potential for technologically enhanced classrooms across the globe?
World collaboration is an idea of creating a safe environment for students to collaborate with a group across the planet from each other via the internet. Schools can get special grants that pay for a number of devices as well as grants that pay for high speed internet to deliver high quality streaming content. While no system is perfect and there is always room for improvement, many schools comply strictly to safety standards implemented by the federal government. This makes it possible for schools with lower income to deliver a quality experience to its students. For instance a simple projector, a cheap laptop with internet access and a dark room with a blank wall would facilitate the above experience for under $500. While simulation is not reality it can be a great substitute when there is no alternative. It is simply not feasible for every public school to take 300 students on a journey to egypt, and not even possible for them to explore the pyramids in a way that they could right back in the classroom via a web browser.
Understanding how each and every person learns and facilitating lessons in a different way is a good place to start if bulleting a list of advances technology has afforded us. While this may sound like a robotic approach to such a sensitive subject of learning abilities it has actually sparked innovation in the way we address those so-called “abilities”. The question is no longer why students are getting left behind, its what can we show them to help them understand. Each student can manipulate tech in the classroom in a way that suits their mode of learning, as long as we are asking the right questions it won’t matter that information is at their fingertips. Good questions probe beyond simple answers and require us to think on a higher level to deliver great answers. Multiple technologies whether it be tablets, laptops, or even kinesthetic technologies can be made available to students to help them collect and understand data in different ways.
Creating critical thinkers has been the goal of public education for quite some time. Specific technologies in assessment allow us to monitor students strengths and improvement needs in real-time, thats kind of a big deal. When I was in public school I never dreamed of the teacher asking all of us a question and in real time submitting our answer! This also allows teachers the ability to track each specific students progress through each step of the lesson and to develop individualized plans for each student in the classroom. Teachers are required to have IEP’s for many students and this program is a successful method for developing strengths in the place of weaknesses for many students. Technology allows the teacher to offer targeted help for every single student.
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