Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Technology in Primary Education

My son is a 6th grade middle school student in New Fairfield, Connecticut. As technologist, I'm very impressed with how technology is being used in his classroom.  For example:

  1. The school has both a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and responsible use agreement.
  2. BYOD is optional.  The school loans devices to students such as the Google Chromebook as well as Windows laptops or students can bring their own.  I purchased a $200 Chromebook for my son and he's very happy with it and owning it has taught him responsibility.  I chuckled at the latest ad from Microsoft, staring the "Pawn Stars" cast (one of my favorite shows) which showed a customer trying to sell a Chromebook for a trip to Hollywood to no avail since it's "not a real laptop" since it doesn't have "Windows or Office."
  3. The school has deployed wi-fi
  4. The school has standardized on Google Apps for Education in addition to a variety of other tools (listed below).  Other schools are standardizing on Office 365

Additional web-based education tools used in class include:

In today's increasingly high-tech world, it's important that students have exposure to technology or risk being left behind.   I'm also impressed that my son has team projects where they are required to collaborate to develop an electronic presentation (e.g. Prezi, Google Docs) and deliver an oral presentation to the class.  These skills will be invaluable later in life for a variety of careers.

Update 1-Jan-2014: IBM released its "Five in Five" predictions and first on the list is "The classroom will learn you: cognitive systems will provide decision support for teachers."
  

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