Computers in the classroom: integrating technology for a superior independent school education

By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School

Mere decades ago, the integration of

computers in the classroom

might have seemed impossible. Yet today, many schools are beginning to incorporate technology into classroom environments – and facing the possibilities and challenges posed by digital resources and online learning modalities.

From a teacher’s perspective, there are both pros and cons to using computers in the classroom. On the one hand, technology has the potential to free up valuable class time by replacing in-class activities with online learning programs. However, the integration of computers into a classroom environment can also be disruptive to the pace of group learning, and make it difficult for teachers to keep track of each individual student’s progress. Ultimately, the key to resolving both sides of the issue is to provide a flexible curriculum – something for which independent schools are uniquely equipped and designed.

From smart phones to smart cars, from tablets to personal computers, digital technology has become an integral part of contemporary society. As such, it is also an essential component of a thorough college preparatory education. Therefore, it is critical that educators work to create curricula that make it possible for students to work with computers – but at their own skill level and pace, and without sacrificing either collaborative or creative potential in the classroom.

The basis for such a system involves teachers who are intimately familiar, not only with the technology being used in their classes, but also with the ways in which each program can be used to benefit students’ understanding and critical thinking – online, in the classroom, and in their daily lives.

A student-centered education: blending modalities for individualized instruction

At Francis Parker School, we offer the best in independent education. Our mission is to create citizens of the world – and to do so while maintaining a commitment to individualized teaching. Parker is an ideal environment in which to expose young minds to digital technology in the classroom: one in which we encourage a balance between academic excellence and the development of each student’s own interests and talents. We are currently celebrating the implementation of a one-to-one iPad program at Parker, and are pleased to provide all students with the opportunity to use iPads when appropriate to supplement their classroom activities. Our hope is to give students the choice of when and where to use technology in their studies – and in so doing, teach them to take responsibility for their own progress while providing equal opportunity exploration and inventive thinking. To learn more about technology at

Francis Parker School

, visit us online today:

www.francisparker.org

.

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