I’m from Colorado where the fall season actually feels like fall - with a brisk feeling in the air and the leaves changing colors. But here in the OC we’re baking in a high 90’s heat wave and the calendar says it’s September. If it weren’t for the fact that the Denver Broncos are back in action and Halloween decorations are filling the shelves in every store I walk into; I’d never know it was fall. Of course this is not entirely true because my boys have gone back to school – and that’s the real indication for me that fall is here.
Back to School - for some parents this phrase is great news. For me? Not so much. Back to school means “back to battling over homework” and “back to packing lunches that don’t get eaten” – two of my least favorite things. My youngest son is in 1st grade this year. Just last night I received a login and password for him to access an online math website on an iPad. It’s a pretty slick site that tracks his time spent online, number of questions he’s answered correctly (and incorrectly) and his progress is all reported to his teacher. He also informed me that there are a few apps that he needs that will help him “master his math facts” – he’s 6. When I was 6 I was happy to master a braid in my hair, and when I was in 1st grade I was on the cutting edge of school supplies with a Big Chief notebook and a #2 pencil.
I’m in awe of my boys and their technical aptitude, and I’m impressed with how today’s educators have integrated technology in the classroom. My older son is in 4th grade and he’s undaunted by using PowerPoint to create his weekly Bible presentations that he presents to his classmates. He has his own school email address and uses it to submit his class work to his teacher. He learned cursive writing on my iPad with a simple app that walked him through the steps. There are countless stories out there of schools and homes that have leveraged technology to aid in the learning process. It’s true when they say that the possibilities are endless.
Acknowledging the importance of technology in the education system is one of our clients, Lantronix. Lantronix has recently launched a program called PAL, which stands for “Print and Learn.” PAL was designed to help schools maximize their existing resources to provide students with the tools they need to be successful in the digital environment. It is applicable to both K-12 and higher education. Check out their Facebook page and consider entering your own ‘Technology in Learning’ photo for their Facebook contest.
As this school year has officially kicked off, I wish the best to all parents out there as we try to keep up with our kids when it comes to technology advances in the classroom and at home. With all great things come some great challenges as well. But we too have technology to aid us in our battle to raise successful, well-rounded children. And while I’m figuring that out…my boys will just have to suffer through the pain of watching me try to use our TV remote control.