I love my job. Seriously, every day I get to support some of the most creative and influential people in the world. They aren’t presidents or CEO's. I get to work with the people that spend 6-8 hours a day with your children at the Duneland School Corporation.
My job as the director of information and education technology at Duneland School Corporation is both challenging and rewarding but it isn’t about the technology. It’s about putting the tools in the hands of the master craftsmen or craftswomen. It’s about teaching children using methods that are capable of reaching any type of student.
The landscape of education is incredibly different from what many of you reading this experienced. Teachers aren’t using chalkboards any longer but instead using white boards and dry erase markers. Granted, that’s not exactly the type of mind-blowing difference that you would expect me to cite. Let me try this instead.
Kindergarten classes are using iPod touch devices to practice writing letters in apps that give them instant feedback on their progress. The iPods are connected directly to the Internet via wireless access. Think about that for a second. Kindergartners have access to an unrivaled amount of information and raise your hand if a 5-8 year old has shown you how to do something on your cell phone or computer. Students aren’t the same as they were in 1985. Students aren’t even the same as they were in 1995 or 2005. Students grow up differently now, and they also learn using different tools. Teachers aren’t the same either. They teach differently and they work tirelessly to help your students achieve.
We have been working hard to provide teachers with the tools that will allow them to reach those students. Implementing solutions that allow teachers to record lessons and then post them on one of our websites. Giving teachers the ability to create online courses, where students can collaborate and work with students despite being on the other side of town. Creating wireless zones so that students have places to access the Internet in a safe way to complete projects or study. Eventually, providing computers to all students so that any disparity is removed.
It’s not about the technology; it’s about the person using it. The technology empowers the student to be independent and proactive about their education. The technology is just a tool. The teachers take that tool and work towards crafting a student that is ready for anything beyond.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.