We are currently preparing students for jobs and technologies that don’t yet exist … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.
Colchester School District’s ongoing efforts to increasingly integrate technology into its curriculum and instruction is a major priority; our community members explicitly identified it as a significant need in the Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. And as was recently reported in the Colchester Sun, the district is putting considerable effort into procuring grant funds to support this goal.
A “Tech Fest” at Colchester Middle School for seventh- and eighth-grade students in Harbor House earlier this month is an excellent example. Students demonstrated the various ways they have been exploring technology in the classroom in recent months, using Google Apps for Education with embedded iFrames, Voki avatars, and a host of other assorted educational gadgets and applications. They displayed portfolios of their recent classroom work and demonstrated a number of online resources they use as part of their everyday classroom experience, including CloudK12, NeoK12, and Khan Academy. The students are thriving, eagerly exploring these technologies and diversifying their educational experiences in the process.
And this is just the beginning.
An earlier CSD Spotlight feature discussed aspects of the changing face of education. Part of that article discussed Beloit College’s Mindset List, which reports on the world view of college students as their enter their freshman year. As a quick recap, according to last year’s list, many members of the class of 2014:
- have never worn a wristwatch
- feel that e-mail is too slow
- have never had a telephone with a cord, and
- do not fear a Russian missile strike—Americans and Russians have lived together in outer space for these students’ entire lives.
As we said in that earlier article, our world is changing faster than ever, and we must consider these issues as we prepare our students for the world awaiting them.
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