12
Dec
08

Connect Our Youth

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In this country you have to be 18 to vote and are controlled by a government that has little representation from anyone who is not twice a old as that. There is always talk from leaders of the youth being our most valuable resource but it’s way easier for them to treat oil and money as that.

I argue that the real most valuable resource we have is the knowledge we have acquired throughout history. (Sorry kids.) The Internet is the best tool at hand for compiling knowledge and spreading it with ease. All the information garnered is worthless if you can’t access it. It’s absolutely insane to believe that our youth, and in turn society, would not benefit from having access to this knowledge. By not embracing the Internet fully, our public school system is missing an opportunity to bring the country out of a rut.

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Project Tomorrow is a nonprofit group that describes it’s vision “to insure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, and engaged citizens of the world.” They launched a “Speak Up” campaign in which students and parents voice their opinions on education. Their key findings include:

  • Over 41% of students believe that online classes will have the greatest positive impact on their learning, a growth of over 20% from the 2006 data findings.
  • Over 20% of teachers chose online classes as a key element for increasing student achievement in the 21st century school an increase of almost 28% over the 2006 data findings.
  • Over 26% of teachers chose online learning as their first choice for training.

Those numbers show some schools are ahead of the game, but I wanted to put things in perspective. I certainly never had a teacher in high school that used the Internet as their main teaching tool. I remember teacher versus teacher battles for the computer lab. I was the last class to graduate from the old high school and an expensive glossier one was opened that fall. I called Principal Joe Bacewicz to find out what role the Internet has in the lives of students now.

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“Every classroom in the new school has two student computers, there is a 30 student computer lab, 20 more computers in the library, and 4 other computer labs,” said Bacewicz. He pointed out how some classes are starting to embrace the internet citing that “a few English teachers and I believe some science teachers set up blog sites for students. There is also a service called Ucompass, which science classes use to have students complete and send assignments online.”

Bacewicz said the budget was not enough to unwire the school’s internet. Students with laptops are only allowed to use their own laptops in class under “special circumstances,” but Bacewicz said “That may be changing down the road.”

He points to limiting accessibility to certain sites as a primary concern that the state government helps them out with. They offer a service that limits sites students can access at a reduced cost.

It’s good to see that my alma matter is getting up to speed with technology. Yet there is plenty that can still be done and Tolland is an upscale town with an emphasis on its education system. Changes must be made in all public schools to ensure our nation will keep up with the rest of the world.

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Courtesy of Prozacville.com.


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