More than half of all teens spend 30 hours or more per week immersed in technology. It is a huge part of their lives and, because of this, teachers are finding more and more ways to incorporate it into their classrooms to enhance student learning.
Last Wednesday, several San Diego County educators were honored by Technology Training Foundation of America and Time Warner Cable with the Golden Mouse Award. The ceremony, hosted by Channel 10’s Geni Cavitt, recognized teachers and their work in bringing technology into their classrooms.
Representing Ramona Unified was Olive Peirce Middle School librarian Missy Cobian, Olive Peirce teacher Sergio Estrada and Ramona Elementary teacher Bonnie Bickel.
Each educator uses technology in a different way. For Cobian, it’s keeping up with her inquisitive, avid readers while bringing fellow teachers up to speed as well.
“She knows our adolescents represent a generation that has grown up with technology, use it every day, and are adept at multitasking with technology,” said Principal Linda Solis. “She assists teachers in integrating technology into the curriculum, aligning it with student learning goals, using it for engaged learning projects, and provides professional growth for teachers to ensure technology makes learning more relevant to students.”
“Technology is changing all of our lives,” said Cobian. “The questions that librarians used to have to answer by going through pages and pages of microfiche documents can now be accessed at the tap of a finger. Kids today need access to daily opportunities in the classroom to practice the skills they need to meet the challenges they face in the real world.”
She went on to point out that, “students need portable skills, skills they can take with them into any career — the ability to think critically, the ability to find information and analyze the quality of the information they find. The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004. Right now, we are preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, to use technologies that don’t yet exist, and to solve problems we don’t yet know are problems.”
Estrada’s passion comes in the form of his video production class. Olive Peirce Today (OPT) is a live broadcast that every classroom on campus tunes into each morning. His students are adept at working audio and video mixers, filming, editing, making soundtracks and more.
“In the right hands, computer technology is so more of an art than a science,” said Estrada. “The projects my kids have created have moved emotions, motivated, and inspired others. For me, it has made my job exciting. I love seeing what kids can do when they’re given technology as a tool for learning.”
Estrada said technology is important for two reasons.
“First of all, today’s kids are in a technology driven world, the Internet, cell phones, texting, YouTube, etc. This is a huge part of their world, so, if we want to keep them engaged in the classroom, we need to use as many technology learning opportunities as we can,” he said.