|Keeping Up With Tech
Written by Wheaton Warrenville South senior, Sabine Fahey
District 200 is reshaping student learning environments. From buying new computers, tablets, and Apple products, to adopting Google Classroom, technology is changing every aspect of education for students.
Rebecca Johnson, a senior at Wheaton Warrenville South, states, “Technology has made things move faster, we can access more information quicker.” Utilizing technological advancements is beneficial for teachers to connect with students not only while at school, but outside of the school day and reduce the time to grade papers and plan lessons. In addition, students are developing technological skills to advance their learning and critical thinking, taking one further step on the path to success in the modern world.
Classrooms around the country have started to integrate technology into the everyday classroom experience, creating an education system that is “...driven not just by greater efficiency and productivity but also by innovation,” explains Thomas Friedman, author of That Used to Be Us. “Within a few years, virtually everyone on the planet will have the tools and network connections to participate in the hyper-connected flat world.”
Teachers now expect students to turn in work and communicate about assignments through Google Classroom. That way they are able to grade online and include comments about improving assignments, something they were not always able to do with each student because of the limited time in class.
Not only does incorporating technology in the classroom benefits teachers, students are gaining technological skills that will be essential in the future to succeed in jobs.
At Wheaton Warrenville South, teachers are working on finding the balance when incorporating technology. Mrs. Axelson, Vice Principal, explains that the administrative thought process on technology is "to focus on how technology would enhance lessons so that they would be more accessible to students."
Teachers at South are constantly striving to incorporate technology in their everyday lessons that not only meets the administrative goal regarding technology, but also allows for students to access the material with ease. Videos, presentations, homework, quizzes, and evaluations are just some parts of the everyday classroom that have become more available through the use of technology.
Through the use of SmartBoards, departments can create visuals that permit student interaction with the subject matter. Additionally, almost every class at Wheaton Warrenville South has a Google Classroom, a hub for class assignments, announcements, and handouts. Google has been an unbelievable benefit for staff and students alike. Johnson speaks for most of the students at South when she says, “Google has made everything easier.”
Google Apps for Education, such as Docs, Slides, and Forms make it possible to share documents with teachers and other students in the school, access homework assigned by your teacher, and create projects that you can access and work on from any computer. The technology-centered activities engage students while making class work easier. Teachers are now able to connect and relate with their students better than ever before, resulting in greater learning.
“Teachers have embraced the freedom and innovation that it brings,” Axelson said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of technological tool is being used in the classroom, as long as students have access to the technology that enhances their learning.”
America’s education system has endless possibilities and it will be exciting to see where it goes with technology. Everyone has high hopes that Google and other technologically savvy ideas will become an integral part of school the school day.
Photo credit: Stephen Parch, freshman, WWS
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