March 31, 2014

“No Classroom Left Behind?”

“No Classroom Left Behind: Are You a Classroom of Yesterday?”

I believe that technology should be integrated into every classroom.

By technology, I am not referring to websites, videos, and power point (although these are beneficial to students.) I mean actual hands-on, project-based learning such as Web 2.0 Tools. These tools enable teachers and students to create, collaborate, and communicate online.

Web 2.0 Tools such as blogs, glogs, and wikis are simple and quick to learn resulting in immediate enhancement of student learning. Blogs are online journals that promote discussion among students and teachers; glogs are online, interactive poster-making tools (imagine no more crinkled posters cluttering your classroom); and wikis are websites that can be edited by students promoting successful, collaborative group projects.

Journals, posters, and project group discussions are no longer adequate preparation for the students' future employment. Students need high level computer operating skills. Students need creative opportunities using various technology tools to prepare them for jobs that have yet to be created. The integration of technology into the classroom is essential for the future success of our students because it develops and refines crucial skills while promoting creativity using real world technological tools.

The technology of my day was a slide projector, super 8 movies, and an overhead projector. This technology was adequate in preparing me for my future employment; however, is it grossly inadequate for today's high tech jobs. Have the classrooms changed all that much? I think not. The slide projector has become a power point presentation; the super 8 movie has become a video or website; and the overhead projector has become a glorified underused active board.

Are students being engaged in learning? Are they learning skills that will prepare them for their future? Many classrooms today have progressed little beyond the classroom of yesterday. While this type of classroom instruction may have worked for you and me, it will do little to advance our students’ future success.

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