St. Louis seniors spent their last day of summer in a technology training class for the school's new One to One program. The program gives each student and teacher a Fujitsu tablet laptop to use in class and at home. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, January 03, 2013 7:42 PM
Rapidly changing technology is making advances in our world with head-spinning swiftness. All institutions need to keep up with it and adapt to its advantages — particularly education.
Children are growing up in a world dominated by computers and other high-tech devices that they will need to master in order to succeed in school and in their future careers.
St. Thomas More Catholic High School in Lafayette is among the schools taking advantage of the technology by bringing exciting new innovations to schools.
St. Thomas More abandoned textbook-based learning last year and gave each student a laptop tablet that serves as the textbook.
The school’s principal, Audrey Menard, said the transition to a laptop campus was necessary to prepare students with the 21st-century skills they will need to succeed in life.
She said 21st-century technology is giving a boost to the way students learn in the classroom. Among the advantages are comparing and contrasting different perspectives, getting real-time feedback from teachers, making it easier to stay organized and develop typing skills.
For example, in history teacher Jill Ardoin’s class, a whiteboard at the front of the room with bulleted points on her lesson on the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, are presented at the same time on the students’ laptop screens at their desks. Students can type notes directly into the lesson page while she talked. Or, if they prefer, students can also write notes into their tablets with a stylus.
“Moodle,” a classroom management program, is used by teachers to make their assignments, teacher notes and presentations readily available to students. Students can record lessons or access audio recordings of lessons.
Students are also better able to prepare their homework and access the next day’s lesson. If there is a problem with a student’s computer, he or she can turn it in and get a loaner until it is fixed.
Menard said her school has received visits from educators from across the country to learn how to replicate its program.
Of course, Southwest Louisiana people don’t need to travel all the way to Lafayette Parish to see technology in action in the schools. St. Louis High in Lake Charles has been working with laptops this year, in a program similar to St. Thomas More’s. Other public and private schools around the parish are also taking bold steps forward with new technology
Technology is the wave of the future for our society, and education needs to be at the forefront of keeping up with all its promise for today’s generation of students and those of decades to come.
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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.