Many years ago our great country decided that public education was of such great value that we should make it both free and mandatory. In many early communities it started as a one room school teacher. If the population did not warrant a full time teacher they provided tutors for smaller communities.
As a teacher for the past thirty years I am going to try to convince you that change in education is long over due. I am also going to try to explain how it should change, and why it has not changed. Many political leaders in many states have used the education of children as a forum to get elected. Change has been promised in the form of programs such as the “No child left behind” program. One can find long lists of other programs that promised that American children would catch up with their counterparts in China, Japan, and other industrial countries.
So what is the problem? The problem is that our kids do not live in the same agricultural, settlement society of the 1800’s yet we continue to educate them in much the same mannor. Think about it… What have we really changed concerning the process of educating students over the past 200 years? If preparing students for the society we live in is an important goal then we know that we are not doing that. We do not need any test to know that we are not preparing our kids for the high tech society that exist today.
First of all if we are to prepare kids for today’s world we must get rid of the antiquated books and paper that plague our school age children. That’s right we must get rid of the books and replace them with c.d’s. Then we must have a lap top or computer station on each and every desk in our schools. Of course there are many options. One could have a lap top issued to them at the beginning of school and turned back in at the end of the school year.
There is no good reason, other than cost, for students carrying around 5 or 6 books along with notebooks, pencil, and paper. It’s just not the way our modern society works. What sense does it make to teach our kids to use text books to get information? Not one of you reading this article would waste the time it takes to find the right book, buy or borrow it, and then read it from cover to cover. Why should we teach the leaders of the future how to get information using a method that is out dated at best?
Think of the possibilities. How would you like to be a student entering a classroom for United States History? Could I get you excited if I told you that you would be able to use a disc to research each of the topics that we would cover this year? Would you prefer to keep a three ring binder, spiral binder, or a file on your personal computer that could be accessed at home or at school? Not only that but the instructor could access your work at any time.
If any of this sounds familiar it is because this is not new. It is the way we run business in practically every industry in America. It seems like it’s good enough for adults but too good for students. I strongly believe that students deserve to have access to every modern technological tool that is available to the general public in public and private jobs. So why keep it from them? Why hold students back? Why not use the technology that is in common use through out the world?