You Can Thank Star Trek

This week’s blog is both interesting but very  ambiguous. How do I envision my M.Ed program? The answer to that is simple. I see it going exactly how the program dictates I do it: I finish my observations this semester, student teach next semester, take my praxis exams in between and the essentials of life in between.

This week’s article was a blog visiting the ever progressing role of technology in the classroom while also presenting the opposition to those resistant to the change. I do not like those who resist change for the simple reasons of uncertainty or discomfort. I am usually all for positive change, technology in the classroom is no different.

This week I had the opportunity to observe Mr. Grassi’s Alaska Studies class. I was fortunate enough to catch the class where Mr. Grassi was just introducing a new technology to the curriculum. The school district funded several, SEVERAL, new carts full of iPads. A few for each department that was pertinent to receive them (Social Studies, English, film production, etc.). Mr. Grassi used the iPad’s to convert his relatively tradition style classroom (with rows on each side of the room facing each other, ideal for encouraging discussion) into a mini-computer lab. Mr. Grassi had his students research rural communities that were  predominantly Alaska native and create a graphic presentation (a poster) of the pertinent information of the communities they researched. It was actually really fun,  not just for me, but also for the students and Mr. Grassi. It was a learning experience for everyone.

As much as I despise Apple Inc., these new tablets will open so many doors and opportunities for learning where all lessons will soon convert to standardized formats of workbooks, research and assignments on these tablets. Every student will eventually be required to have one, or every classroom will have it built into the desks with each student signing onto their personal profile to work and save drafts and turn in their assignments to the teacher.

I only make this prediction because it has been predicted in pop culture and when that happens, our inventors instantly gravitate towards those predictions. Here, Star Trek: The Next Generation showed us tablets for working in the Starfleet Academy. And Starship Troopers depicted a classroom with digital stylus and flat computers built into the desks. If it wasn’t for Captain Kirk’s Star Trek, we would not have such technological advances as the cell phone, motion sensitive doors and hands free communicators. These educational advances are  an eventual certainty, because Star Trek says so.

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