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by S. West

The physical setting of the classroom of ten years ago bears little recognition to the classroom of today. For the decades prior to our Age of Technology, few changes had taken place in the manner in which curriculum was delivered. Yes, new educational programs were always introduced, but their delivery emanated from the teacher. That is not always the case today. No more is this evident to me than with the introduction of the Interactive Whiteboards. Teachers, eager to incorporate this technology into their lessons, have reached out to their students to enlist their assistance in understanding the complexities of this new technology. Students are eager to assist. The beauty of this reciprocity is that it creates a great deal of pride on the part of the student.

What I have witnessed as I have gone from school to school assisting in the training of teachers and “turnkey” students, is that there is a new maturity evident in our students as they proudly teach their teachers and move many of them along the path into our New Technology Age. Of course, the teacher is still the master of the curriculum, but the interdependence exhibited between the teacher and student is awesome and has created a relationship of mutual respect.

The installation of the interactive whiteboards, along with their software, has helped teachers to better differentiate their curriculum and deal with the many interests, abilities and learning styles of their students. Aha moments are growing exponentially, as teachers drill down to the countless interactive demonstrations available to them. The hand-held student devices, reminiscent of the remote controls used on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” also offer teachers the opportunity to continually reassess students’ progress during the lesson. They can pause to take note of what concepts are clearly understood, and which ones need to be readdressed before proceeding. Students are more motivated to learn because the technology, with which they are comfortable, is being embraced by our schools. Kudos to all of our students and teachers! You have technologically broken down the classroom walls and helped our district to grow.