|Advances in communications technology are dramatically transforming the ways that communities share information. Citizens of the 21st Century live in a global community that is increasingly interconnected. As an educational institution, Ensworth School has the responsibility to prepare its students to participate in this new world community and to serve as leaders for using the power and potential of technology as tools for growth and learning and tools that bind us all together more closely.|
The best way to teach students how to succeed in the world's new media environment is to build technology into the fabric of school life and to immerse students in it. Much like the teaching of foreign languages, the best way to learn to live in the world's new media environment is through deep immersion with the technology.
Lower and Middle School students begin developing skills in using technology by first seeing their own words appear on a computer screen, then by learning to write, edit, and refine their work. Seeking new information by finding new resources happens in science, in history, in math. Writing poetry, short stories, explanations of mathematical theories, laboratory reports, calculating math problems, researching material for term papers, preparing Powerpoint presentations as group projects - integrating technology throughout the curriculum enables students to grow more capable and comfortable using these tools.
At the High School level, all faculty and students are equipped with wireless laptop computers enabling their interconnectivity to each other, to school resources, and to the internet at any time and in any location, either on or off campus. Rather than having to seek out intermittent access to shared stationary computers or to compete for laptop carts, each community member has immediate personal access to the entire school network.
The norm for school communication is electronic rather than paper delivery. The nature of this transformation transcends simply providing modern electronic formats to implement traditional processes, such as the original development of computers for speedier processing. Its larger promise lies in the evolution of radically new approaches, such as the world-wide web, that revolutionize interconnectivity and bind us all together more closely as a community.
Common hardware, software, and licensing streamline maintenance and operational continuity and permit the entire community to share assignments, educational resources, work products, and status reports online. Students are able to check and submit assignments electronically, and instructors are able to respond without waiting for the next class session. As textbooks become increasingly available in electronic format, students will be able to access course materials without toting around weighty backpacks. And as the technology evolves, students will be equipped to stay current with new steps forward.
This immersive environment helps students learn not only how to use the technology but also how not to use it. Because the technology will be in constant use, issues of copyright, privacy, and appropriate use can be addressed in the context of the entire curricular program rather than sequestered as separate subjects in computer classes. In fact, the wireless network enables the entire campus of Ensworth High School to serve as the classroom for this endeavor.
Just as immersion in technology benefits Ensworth students, a facility with technology also provides faculty means by which to enhance the curriculum. Instructors are encouraged to employ the ever-improving tools of technology when they would help to effectuate curricular goals. However, Ensworth does not value technology for its own sake, and in no instance should an instructor inject technology into a lesson that would be better without it, or to create a new lesson simply as a vehicle for using new technology. But they are free to avail themselves of the benefits that new technology might offer.
Technology is evolving at a startling pace. Over decades, it will introduce quantum leaps forward in interconnectivity that are difficult to imagine. Who would have thought that the original development of computers for speedier processing would ultimately have led to a world-wide web that would revolutionize our world? By giving students a strong foundation in the technology of today, Ensworth School is equipping them to be the leaders in using or even creating the next quantum step in technology for the future.
Director of Technology