Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Technology and Public Schools

“Technology is like water. You can keep kids away from it, but someday, somewhere, some school system will need to teach those kids how to swim.

With those words, BHS Principal Thomas Perlinski broached the subject of public schools and technology; the catalyst of functioning in today’s world.  

“Today, technology not only teaches but it’s instrumental in building relationships through sites like Facebook, Twitter, internet chat rooms, and texting.

“To learn how to teach technology, present teachers attend professional seminars, or take college courses.

“Along with other technology, teachers need to learn to instruct with devices like I Pads. They learn to teach students the appropriate use of technology. They teach them about the power technology puts in their hands, and how to use apps.

“All schools, regardless of size, must teach technology to prepare students for world-wide career competition.”

Besides its axis, today’s world also revolves on technology. Thus, students who graduate from small Bayard-High- like-schools compete against students who graduate from schools of all shapes and sizes throughout the world.

Therein lurks a problem.

Colleges have entrance exams. After testing, if a student doesn’t meet the entrance requirement for a subject they may be put into a “remedial class.” A “remedial class” goes back to the basics, and, when the student passes the class they can begin their college career.

However, they’re now behind their high school graduating class. This means they have another year’s graduates to compete with when they begin their career. In Western Nebraska this may not sound like much, but on a world-wide parameter this exponentially increases competition.

When colleges raise their entrance requirements, it puts pressure on small schools like BHS. In order for the BHS’s in the school hierarchy to prepare their students for college, with less chance of them having to take remedial classes, they must increase the scope of what’s being taught.

However, for every solution is a Murphy’s Law. For example, once a school revamps a set procedure it means a larger-time slot in an already stretched time-frame, along with more teaching skills for teachers.

New teachers need longer, more involved, resumes while some tenured teacher’s will need additional training in teaching technology.

But, where’s the extra time come from to raise student’s levels of learning to prepare them for more strenuous college entrance requirements?  To find the extra time, does BHS slow earth’s rotation to make for 25 or 26 hour days, or maybe have to eliminate some extracurricular activity like a certain sport, or specific music or speech activity?

Principle Perlinski shrugged his shoulders. “Our teachers will need more training to teach the new technology our students need for college. Schools have no choice but to prepare teachers, and students, for the new world economy.”

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