“Today’s students are different than students were 15 years ago. They learn differently and as a result feel disconnected from schools that were designed for another time.” Carl Owens, Professor and Director of Technology, College of Education, Tennessee Technological University
"Computers offer the potential today for students to engage in the real work of mathematicians, scientists, composers, filmmakers, authors and engineers. We have an obligation to build upon the technological fluency the students bring to us.” Gary Stager, Pepperdine University
"If we followed the same logic with textbooks, we’d have one classroom set and everyone would share. Here's one textbook; you have five kids who have to share it, [and each] gets to take it one day a week. Obviously, you limit the options that you have. We believe that if we have one-to-one computing in a classroom area, then the options are open." Dr Seymour Papert, MIT
Why use technology at BHS?
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.
The rapid advancement of technology can cause us fits and concerns. It moves fast. It disrupts the way we've done things, especially in education.
In many ways, technology magnifies many personal and social challenges including how we learn, compartmentalize our time, procrastinate, and entertain ourselves.
Denial of service though, historically, has never held much educational value. Technology is here to stay.
It's about how we use it
As these tools continue to advance so must our understanding of how to use them well in our lives. With each new historical challenge, education has had to shift it's thinking and take initiative to prepare students for their future.
To help students embrace these challenges emotionally, intellectually, and physically we must include technology in our practice of education. After thoughtful research Burlington School District has embraced these challenges to educate students for their future.
Shifting educational practice in teaching, learning, and how schools function will present tough challenges for students and teachers, and incredible new opportunities.
"Technology should be ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible." Chris Lehmann
The shift from institutional to personal
Computers in schools used to be 'institutionalized,' meaning they were only available during the school day. March students to a computer lab and use computers during the school day - but not after school, on weekends, or during school vacations. Another glaring problem with that model, if you didn't have a class that used computers, you were out of luck. Worse yet, if you didn't have access to one at home to learn with you were at a considerable disadvantage.
It's a bold step to give each student at BHS a device to use to learn. 'Personal' computing, the ability to use a computer as a personal device at any time to explore and create with inside and outside the school day is now possible... and necessary.
With access to technology whenever and wherever, students ability to gain knowledge is not limited to the classes they can take. It never was really. Technology access now presents us all with the ability to learn anything, and anywhere if we choose to do so. It's not a replacement for good teaching or mentorship though. It's just a whole new adventure in creativity and collaboration.
Learning from and with others
There are many schools who've gone down this path around the world. Our commitment is to learn as much as we can from them, and with them.
It takes some thought to break out of patterns we have.
The most important questions just might be:
How can you use this device to learn?
What creative things can we do with this technology?
Embrace those two challenges and you might be surprised where it might lead.