Technology in School

I’ve always considered myself a bit of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to using technology in school. I locate the heart of what we do in the inter-personal work among teachers and students, with all other things being peripheral (from pencils to books to computers). I expect that many of you feel the same, and would choose a school with no technology and brilliant teachers over a school with high-tech-everything and sub-standard teachers.

Over the past five years of my involvement in this school, I have put most of my effort into investing in the quality of our teachers and their programs, saving technology for “a later day.” It’s always seemed too expensive and too fleeting in its lifespan to be worth a whole lot of time and money.

That said, I’m beginning to think that this is now that “later day,” that the time is right for us to make considered investments in learning technologies.

For those of you who are wary of computers as tools that isolate people and make learning shallow, please don’t worry! The teachers and I are, I think, appropriately sceptical and cautious. Modern technologies pose a serious threat to community; to reading, writing, and research skills; to attention span; and, of course, to budgets. There is a strong argument, however, that digital experiences are the new and permanent reality, and that we and our students need to learn how to enter that part of our culture carefully and wisely, benefiting from what is valuable and keeping our distance from that which diminishes. A corresponding argument is that a great teacher can offer even better learning experiences when bolstered with the right technology.

There are a few aspects of this that I find, honestly, very exciting. I look forward to implementing them here in the near future.

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