Educating the 21st Century 0
With technology playing an ever expanding role in the education of children, Crowther Memorial Junior High (CMJHS) in conjunction with the Golden Hills School Division have decided that in order to meet the needs of this new generation of students, that education systems must adapt. As a result Crowther has introduced their 1-to-1 program, which will see the school hand out laptops to each student in Grade 7 and 8.
"The reality is that we have different learners in our school these days," said Crowther Memorial Junior High associate principal Linda Tucker. "These kids are part of what we refer to as digital natives, children born into technology and so we've got a generation of kids that are connected all the time and we really want to engage kids in a broader fashion and so we want to roll out to each of these kids their own digital device."
With information being so readily available at the push of a button, the days of simply relying on textbooks and study halls may be a thing of a past.
With children being 'digital natives' and already having such vast knowledge about computers and technology, Tucker believes the pilot program will make it easier and more exciting to go to school.
"Our number one goal is to use these computers to help with engagement and help with quicker and instant information for kids," said Tucker. "We're hoping to tap into who they are as digital learners and make things more exciting for the students."
For a reasonable fee, students who receive the laptops will be able to use them at both school and at home, ensuring that the program is utilized to its full
The computers have not been rolled out yet, but the students' enthusiasm and techno savvy is already shining through.
"The students are so excited and want these laptops right now, but the funniest thing is the questions that they are asking highlighting their brilliance," said Tucker.
As a unique way to keep the children involved with the whole process, Crowther will be introducing groups of student technicians as the first line of defense when it comes to troubleshooting with the
"We could call our tech department at the division office but first we want to get the kids involved," said Tucker. "Not only is that good for their future in terms of where they can go, but we are sharing the leadership in this and it's going to be good for kids to be involved in that aspect."
With social media being so prevalent these days, and technology ever evolving, Tucker believes it is absolutely necessary for schools to embrace this advancement and find a balance between traditional educating techniques and new ones.
"It is essential for us to be connecting to media and embracing the whole notion of social media and digital literacy because this is the reality, this is our children's reality," said Tucker. "I think the best model for this would be a blend between the traditional sense of schooling in conjunction with technology."
"What we need to do as educators is find a way to connect to all types of learners and let these learners get the information instantly. It is essential for education to embrace this digital capacity or the divide for engaging kids is going to get broader and broader and we can't have that."