Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clearing the Desk: Technology at Hazen

Below you will find the second guest post for our blog.   In this post our Technology Integrationist Jen Burton reflects on why technology is so important to developing our students into great thinkers, problem solvers, and citizens. 

“The History of the Computer Desk” was made to encapsulate the history of technology as it relates the office. If the changes we witness in the video relate to the workplace, don’t they also have a connection to education?

We have moved many things in our daily lives from the analog to the digital. We may still hang pictures on our walls, but they often get there by way of our phones. No longer do we have the bulky Rolodex or the land line. Our phones now serve as calendars that send us alerts as well as being a source for news and entertainment. Technology has not only tidied our desks, it’s become ubiquitous.

So how does this relate to education? With the availability of technology, information is more accessible than ever. Consider a time when only a select few could read, and access to information was limited for most people. The printing press was the first step in making a change and democratizing learning, libraries were another. Now we have the digital revolution. Information that was previously inaccessible is now freely available to anyone with a device and an internet connection. With these two things, our students have the world at their fingertips.

Education is no longer found only in the classroom, and information is no longer solely the domain of books. The digital revolution has made learning accessible anytime and anywhere.
Classroom communities are extending to include the world beyond the walls of the school. Teachers are asking, "What can I give my students that they cannot find on their own?" There are new avenues for educators to reach different types of learners and for students to demonstrate their learning.

Current Hazen Union students will never relate to the old version of that desk. They are being given the tools and knowledge to move forward and make the most of the digital revolution. Through the guidance of their teachers and with the support of technology, they are learning how to learn. They are seeing that learning does not happen only at school or stop at graduation. They are seeing that learning is a lifelong pursuit and they are gaining the skills to pursue it.

When we cleared off that desk, we put a world of information into the palm of our students’ hands. It’s up to us to ensure they make the most of it.