As a corporate attorney who works in the technology sector, my view that business and technology should both feature prominently in our education system will come as no surprise. But it’s my role as mother—and the typical parental desire for my children to achieve more than I have—that drives my belief that technology should become the very foundation of the K-12 education model.
Today, literacy in digital media has become a key required skill in every discipline and profession; however, the typical public school curriculum has not yet evolved to adequately prepare our children for the realities of this new world workforce.
While technology is increasingly part of the classroom environment, it is generally integrated in the form of supplemental tools, rather than as fundamental to the entire education process. I believe that preparing students to succeed in today’s professional world requires a total immersion process that moves digital media literacy from being simply another academic subject to being a second language.
As we raise a generation that lives and breathes technology, we’re fooling ourselves if we believe our children will enthusiastically respond to traditional teaching methods. Students who see little connection between the academic world and the real world in which they live will undoubtedly be less engaged.
My own children are fortunate to attend a great school in a top-notch public school system, and yet I see them coming home with reams of paper-based homework. I wonder how much more interesting and engaging the school day would be if the technology to which they’re so drawn was seamlessly intertwined with the process of learning.
If my son could work through math problems on a PC rather than on paper, might he do more of them? Would homework be less of a chore and more something he enjoys? More importantly, will this academic environment adequately prepare my children to succeed in a world that increasingly relies on technology to communicate information?
While I don’t fear that the lack of a fully technology-based K-12 curriculum will prevent my children from making a success of their lives, I do wonder how much more they could accomplish and how much faster they could accomplish it given an appropriate technology foundation. If a technology-based education helped instill a love of learning early in life, where might that take them later? How much further might they go? From a mother’s perspective, nowhere is too far.