Stepping into the future

Posted 2/18/16

The depth to which today’s classrooms use technology would have been unimaginable even just 10 years ago. Stepping into classrooms across the district seems to be like stepping into the future. …

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Stepping into the future


The depth to which today’s classrooms use technology would have been unimaginable even just 10 years ago. Stepping into classrooms across the district seems to be like stepping into the future.

Students aren’t just playing games on iPads and tablets, they aren’t just writing essays on the high tech computers and Chromebooks; students are now engineering their own robots, writing in binary, programming code, creating their own online games and developing software.

Oddly enough, it is often the students who take over the teaching, picking up new technology faster than their educators and sharing with their peers. Students are mastering these skills at younger and younger ages. Students still in elementary are working with high school seniors to build robots made from Legos or participating in national Digital Learning Day and coding their own computers with others from around the world.

As the world changes so do classrooms and needless to say both are now permanently based in technology.

The students of today need to be prepared for far different careers and challenges than even just one generation ago. We often hear administrators say that those jobs current students will be striving for haven’t even been invented yet.

The era of reading, writing and arithmetic has evolved into an era of blended learning, coding and problem solving. Classrooms no longer feature students sitting in desks arranged in rigid lines, repeating after an instructor. They are collaborating with one another, exploring their interests and the world through technological screens, guided by a teacher, who enhances their progress.

As teachers, as parents and as a community we need to evolve alongside our students to best help them in their education. Assisting a student with their homework no longer means pulling out a piece of paper and pencil. Without at least a basic knowledge of and skills for technology we will be hard pressed to help at all.

These concerns far outreach just getting a good grade in class but being able to achieve outside of a school setting. Those skills acquired in the classroom today will translate to the employability of students when they enter the workforce. It could make the difference in their ability to maneuver within the real world because there is little doubt it will entail the use of technology in some shape or form.

What is taught in the classroom and how it is taught will continue to evolve. For the sake of being involved in our children’s education familiarizing ourselves with some of this technology could be beneficial not only for their performance, but we may learn new and applicable skills, too. Many of the programs students are using today are easily accessible for free online.

We can all step into the future together.


2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here

A lot more technology for a declining level of education.

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Ken B

Technology should be used in the classroom to make sure all students have an opportunity to learn the basic required skills on a day to day basis. To accomplish this goal, classroom learning has to be more structured. However, opportunities should be provided during the summer months where students could use technology to pursue alternative pathways to learning in an unstructured fashion. These opportunities could be provided during summer camp sessions, day and away, The Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance and The Providence After School Alliance could work with local school systems to provide these learning opportunities.

Friday, February 19, 2016