Erin Eilers – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – It may seem like just yesterday Mustang students were in diapers, dancing along to the Wiggles and eating peanut butter and jelly. As the years continue to pass they reflect on their childhood as the good old days when life was simple.
The children of the “net” generation embodied simplicity, and the technology they encountered as children would definitely seem simple today. Blocky desktop computers and light up toys made their childhood nostalgic and colorful while they learned quickly how to use the buttons and make technology their own.
This generation is known as the Net Generation for a reason; they grew the technology grew with them like roots underneath a budding tree.
By growing up with an everchanging flow of technology at their fingertips, Mustangs have become very open to progress.
When new technology comes out, they run at the first chance to get their hands on it. This generation has never known a world without technology; this makes their attitudes towards technology unique unlike any generation before theirs.
Technology goes beyond entertainment; education has blossomed as new forms of technology have been produced to help and encourage students to succeed in the classroom.
LRHS assistant principal Jeanie Galindo has a background in educational technology, and she believes technology can make a big impact in the classroom.
“I feel that technology has the potential to transition teaching and learning,” she said. “Before that can happen, we need to overcome the following obstacles –
- Responsible use- students using devices for learning and collaboration.
- Innovative practice- leveraging technology to fundamentally change how we learn.
- Access- every kid in every class needs to have access to the curriculum, learning activities and assessments whether on a school owned or student owned device.”
Mustangs and their educational peers have directly benefited from the use of technology in the classroom. Data from “EdTech” indicate, “In grades seven through 12, 97 percent of the students said that technology was very important to their education, and 83 percent said that losing internet access would have a negative impact on their education.”
The internet has also greatly changed the way students do classwork and homework. No longer do Mustangs open huge dictionaries and textbooks to find answers. EdTech shares statistics on how students are receiving their information, “Sixty-seven percent of students in grades seven through 12 reported on the NetDay survey that when they are asked to write a report on a new topic, they use a technology-based solution by doing an Internet search or visiting a bookmarked site.”
The use of technology in school has gained such traction that according to a survey conducted by PBS around 74% of educations support using and having access to technology in the classroom.
Being able to access any amount of information with the tap of a finger is an amazing feat, however it also instills certain characteristic traits in people who have grown up with this luxury.
Because they have grown up with information literally at their fingertips, Mustangs expect things to work properly and work fast. They will get bored if not challenged properly, but when challenged, they excel in creative and innovative ways. They learn by doing, not by reading the instruction manual or listening to lectures.