Editorial: Technology brings opportunities, challengesEven if the Farmington School District does not move forward with plans to buy iPads for every student -- and it seems increasingly likely that it will -- there is no denying that new technologies are changing the way students learn in Farmington schools.
Even if the Farmington School District does not move forward with plans to buy iPads for every student -- and it seems increasingly likely that it will -- there is no denying that new technologies are changing the way students learn in Farmington schools.
As teachers get more tech-savvy, they’re increasingly turning to Twitter, blogs, videos and, yes, iPads and similar devices to augment their teaching. Some of the changes are significant, like flipped classrooms that ask students to watch their lectures at home and do their homework at school. Others are more subtle.
There will no doubt be some who do not like these changes. There are always those who argue that they made it through school just fine without Smart Boards or online discussions. And no doubt they did. Then again, generations before them learned just fine without overhead projectors or lined notebooks. The world changes. Students change. And if schools don’t change too, they risk falling behind.
None of this is to say an iPad or any other technology is a sure solution for bringing a school district into the future. All of these technological advances are tools, and they’re only useful if they’re used in ways that take full advantage of the new opportunities they create. An iPad shouldn’t be a license for a teacher to send students off on their own to do the same lessons they would ordinarily tackle as a group. It’s a challenge to find new ways of doing things. To find approaches that engage students in different ways.
That’s why groups of district employees have spent time in recent months discovering what has been done with iPads and, more important, what can be done.
It’s an exciting process to watch, and it will continue to be interesting if the district attempts to pull off what would be a major transition.
We’ve seen some exciting possibilities that have come up with iPads in classrooms. They could be a valuable next step in the district’s use of technology, so long as the district does things right.