Why should we Seize the World, go 1:1? College Heights desires their students not only to achieve academic excellence as servant leaders with a biblical worldview, but we also want them to continue to achieve excellence throughout higher education and as Christian citizens. In order to accomplish this goal, we believe it is necessary to create a restricted technological environment where students learn to use technology tools so that when they are adults with no restrictions they know how to handle technology and make wise choices. Technology is all around, and learning foundational skills in a restricted environment will prepare students for future success.
Chromebooks are light, fast, personal computers that are cost efficient to purchase and maintain because they are less complex. Chromebooks also integrate seamlessly with G Suite. G suite is a Google educational platform that is free and contains email, Calendar, Docs, Slides, Classroom, Drawing, Sheets, Forms, and unlimited storage. Check here for more information on G Suite.
Parents have given feedback that the only struggle alumni have had in higher education was navigating technology. Students are thrust into an environment where they must navigate a learning management system (Blackboard/ Canvas) to gather class information and turn in assignments. This lack of preparation will be rectified by utilizing Google Classroom for students to keep up with class information and turn in digital assignments. There is also a disconnect, as noted by author Carl Hooker and I can affirm as a professor, that students are responsible for their own learning, and technology can be very distracting in the higher education classroom. Professors facilitate learning and expect students to choose to pay attention and learn.
As curriculum expands students will have additional opportunities that could be necessary for higher education, such as portfolios. Students began this year creating a digital portfolio that would showcase themselves and may be used for higher education, job applications, or other various reasons. The portfolio is a collection of material that reflects students’ academic progress, personal development, and future aspirations and dreams.
Seize the world will provide the opportunity for improved communication and feedback for students. Students will be able to reach teachers through email or Google classroom and receive a timely response instead of having to wait until the next school day. This improved communication will benefit students and allow them to get help when they are struggling and complete assignments on time. Students could gain immediate feedback from quizzes and directly on their work, creating a better learning environment.
Look around and see what engages students. You will find technology usage in the classroom will increase student engagement and motivation. Students are not motivated by reading a chapter and taking a quiz, but reading information and creating a product with technology seems more fun while creating opportunities for critical thinking, thus increasing engagement and motivation. Check out this video for a neat lesson using Chromebooks in the classroom. Technology is constantly advancing and affecting daily life. Leveraging that technology in the educational setting improves student learning through personal learning, engagement, and critical thinking skills, thus providing students with additional learning opportunities (Nebbergall & ICF, 2012). College Heights is advancing by incorporating technology in order to provide these learning opportunities to the students.
Future jobs are constantly changing with technology. Students need to learn to be a part of a global society in school, which should carry into their professional lives. Collaboration is a big part of the global society as jobs are requiring more digital collaboration due to the global society. Students need to be able to constantly learn and apply prior knowledge to new tasks. The learning aspect, in accordance with critical thinking, will prepare students for future jobs that do not currently exist. Communication is a vital piece of every job; therefore, continuing to teach students how to successfully communicate in person and effectively communicate within the technological realm is vital for future success.
So why must each student get a device?
Students must have access in order to meet the above goals. Four Chromebook carts are not enough to allow students ample access at school, while providing individual devices will additionally allow access at home to work on school work. When students have their own device, they are able to utilize it in each class where teachers are ready to integrate technological components into their curriculum. Individual student devices provide educational opportunities and more safety than most households can provide. The safety component will be discussed next week.
Hooker, Carl. (2016). Mobile learning mindset: The district leader's guide to implementation. International Society for Technology in Education.Nebbergall, A., & ICF International. (2012). Integration of technology in teaching and learning: Comprehensive initiatives enhance student engagement and learning. ICF International. ICF International.