It’s exciting when news stories and trending twitter topics validate what we say on this blog weekly. We have a passion for bringing technology into the classroom and allowing students to learn in the same language they now communicate in, digitally.
The particular news story I am referring to is the Kickstarter campaign of Reading Rainbow. 2009 saw the end to the beloved PBS show millions of us grew up watching. Lavar Burton, the longtime host, wanted to bring it back but in a way children could relate to it today, as well as making it accessible to a far greater audience.
His kickstarter campaign to raise 1 million dollars in funds over the course of 35 days was reached in a mere 11 hours.
Watch the reaction below:
It’s now raised over $3,000,000 and has now increased the goal to $5,000,000. The new vision of the show is to make Reading Rainbow available and free to classrooms in need everywhere across America.
They plan to do this through three different mediums, putting it on the web, building a specialized classroom specific version and again making it completely FREE.
The story is heartwarming and substantiates the change in our times. Digital is in, and classrooms need technology sooner rather than later to provide students with the proper outlets to learn.
Reading Rainbow is just the latest tool to prove this point, but there are many others. From Google Classroom, to Apple’s iPad in Education and countless available apps, technology in the classroom has clearly established itself.
Here are just some of the reasons technology in the classroom can be so important in today’s learning environments:
1.) Breadth and Depth of Knowledge: Instead of 3 textbooks to sort through for information, the Internet povides a vast field of information on EVERY topic imaginable that can be researched thoroughly or very briefly.
2.) Real-Life Work Experience: In school I used to take typing classes to be able to one day obtain a job wherein I would know how to use a computer and type quickly to keep up with my employer. Now, students are going to need to know how to use the latest technology for their work experience. Technology is only growing in enterprise environments and we need to allow our children the opportunity to have experience they will use when they graduate.
3.) Video learning: Rich media is readily available these days and can help students grasp concepts educators used to never have access to. Showing how a cell is divided vs reading how a cell divides can truly bring a different level of comprehension to a student.
4.) Active Participation: Instructor led learning is not quite the same as student participation sessions that allow students to go at their own pace on-line with a given tablet or laptop.
5.) Fluency in the Language: As stated earlier students were born into a world of digital language. To teach them with the same materials they use every hour outside of class is great for today’s youth. Students are comfortable with the digital presentation-they know it.
6.) Collaboration: For today’s students working together is a vital part of their education. Technology has taken this concept and made it possible in tremendous ways. Students can now take a group project and continue to work on it outside of the classroom from each of their own homes in real time.
The real challenge starts with understanding that these amazing tools are only possible if our schools are set-up for success with a properly designed and deployed school wireless network.
To truly reach Burton’s goal and vision it will take a collective effort from everyone involved to guarantee that the latest technology and tools available actually make it to the students and work properly.
Let us show you why our passion runs so deep for Technology in the classroom. Contact us today!