Computers in the classroom: how technology showcases opportunities afforded by independent education
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Not long ago, the idea of computers in the classroom would have been unimaginable. Yet today, more and more schools are moving into the brave new world of technology-oriented education – leaving teachers to marvel at the possibilities while simultaneously grappling with the challenges.
Teachers who have worked with computers in the classroom point out the benefit of freeing up valuable class time through the use of certain online programs; but they also note the challenges of balancing each student’s progress with the pace of group learning. When it comes to striking a happy medium, independent schools are in a unique position to find middle ground – and to tailor their curricula to suit the individual needs of both students and teachers for an optimal learning environment.
There are undoubtedly pros and cons when it comes to blended and online learning. Ultimately, however, technology is here to stay – and that makes it a necessary component of any successful college preparatory educational model. The challenge for our teachers is creating a curriculum that allows students to progress at their own level and pace, and designing classroom spaces where students are free to work collaboratively and creatively.
In order for such a system to work, of course, teachers must be intimately familiar, not only with the computer programs being used in their classrooms, but also with the ways in which those programs can be used to help students expand and develop their thinking – online, in class, and out in the world.
Uniting modalities for a student-centered education
At Francis Parker School, we pride ourselves on giving students the advantages of an independent education, inspired by our mission to create citizens of the world and bolstered by our commitment to individualized teaching. Our school environment is the ideal space for introducing technology into the classroom – one in which students are always encouraged to foster their own unique talents while also striving to excel. We are currently celebrating the implementation of a one-to-one iPad program at Parker, in which every student on campus will have access to an iPad for use in class when appropriate. By teaching students to choose when and where technology may be supplemental to the learning process, we prepare them to take responsibility for their own progress. To learn more about in-class technology at Francis Parker School, contact us online today. Visit www.francisparker.org.
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