Where is IT all going? Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on May 22, 2009 at 7:11 am
As technology has boomed during the past 20 years, the tools of education have changed along with it. Chalkboards have given way to white boards or screen projectors connected to computers that allow instant display of the information from either workbooks or the World Wide Web.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 22, 2009, 12:00 AM
Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community, on May 22, 2009 at 7:11 am
Dear Dolores and Steve,
Global economy is already here! The reality of such globalization is the virtual enterprise that allies organizations globally to serve any and all regions of our world.
The virtual enterprise model, as only the organization you need locally to achieve the global result, could be applied to high school. Instead of a large structure of buildings and staff, high school could be teachers and students in partnership linked by their netbook and similar devices. Instead of a large backpack of books and formal classrooms, each class could occur in combination of classroom presentation and networked interactive instruction and information.
In a recent presentation of the reality of virtual enterprise, a leading netbook/network developer illustrated an educational and training process that occurs on the netbook in interactive conferencing and informational provision. University students throughout North America were participating in a virtual classroom with multiple instructors from several universities.
In the end, high school is only a tradition, more social than an educational requirement, and the virtual high school is a logical step to a more productive and global education.
Posted by Teacherman, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on May 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm
I tend to agree, technology is changing every aspect of our society from the workplace, to function of government, to communication, and to education. I do think that because of this technology, its only necessary that we begin to question the traditions of education and innovate a new structure that meets the needs of our technologically advanced young people and creates a competitive work force in the global economy.
Compared to the information available on the Internet, the textbook is almost useless and I think school districts should begin a thinking about not allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars for buying new textbooks that students rarely use. They are a funneled taste of finite information. This is not what our students know. They have a world at their fingertips and we should not deprive them of that.
I tend to agree and disagree with Hal in the above post. Today, high school is "an educational requirement," not just a means of social development, However, the schools need to become a place of learning, where the teacher becomes a facilitator or advisor and the student becomes an active doer, applying information and working with peers.
As a teacher, I am consumed with the future of education and our responsibilities to our students and next generation. We must move with the times, stay above the curve in an ever-changing world, instead of just accepting past norms as the way its always been done. We don't live in the same world and our students deserve a community that supports an education system that teaches them the skills to be sucessful in this century. And those skills include the ability to work together, innovate and create, and use technology efficiently and effectively.
Posted by Farmer Dave, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 29, 2009 at 10:16 am
Teacherman is on the right track, but before we swap textbooks made of dead trees for their electronic equivalent, we need a process equivalent to the current one which reviews and approves the textbooks used in our schools. He's correct, there's a lot of information out there on the Internet, but not all of it is correct or appropriate for the classroom. Additionally, teaching tools like textbooks have to mesh with teaching plans.
ALL students would need to have access to the textbook equivalents. Perhaps a hard look at e-reader systems such as Amazon's Kindle are in order. The textbooks could be downloaded into the e-reader as needed. The e-reader's ability to "read" the text to the student would be very useful for vision-impaired students.
The textbooks could easily be kept current, with publication delays limited to revision and approval time. Hopefully the cost would be less than current textbook costs.
Posted by Teacherman, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on May 29, 2009 at 10:46 am
I appreciate your comments and couldn't agree with you more. There must a stepping stone between the traditional use of textbooks and an absolute freedom of Internet searching. As teachers, I do believe it is our job to teach students how to correctly research and identify legitimate information on the Internet. However, you can not take away the value of reading in book form.
I think your idea of the e-reader is a great way to introduce new technology and use up-to-date information in book form. Even though this, I think, would cost considerably less than purchasing standard textbooks every 5 years or so, the challenge, especially today, is getting the funding. Other benefits include less heavy books to haul around to school, saves trees, and students can access multiple sources of information in one classroom setting.
I am all about the e-reader! Thanks again for your thoughtful responses.