Finally, one school is breaking free of the tired old “teaching from textbooks and lectures” method and moving into the digital age the rest of the world (including their students) have embraced for decades now.
A small high school in suburban St. Louis is tossing aside textbooks in favor of digital tablets.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Grandview High School in Jefferson County will use Android-powered Kyros Coby tablets in place of textbooks this year. Students will be allowed to take the tablets home. They'll be used to take tests, do homework and complete assigned readings.
An Internet filter blocks many sites, including pornography and Facebook.
Students will keep their tablets throughout their high school careers, then keep them when they graduate.
This movement away from textbooks in favor of digital tablets that can be updated with new information and multimedia learning tools has been desperately needed in American schools, not just to re-engage the students in the learning experience but also to save on the ridiculous yearly cost of textbooks.
For many years I’ve been a strong believer that schools must implement this exact teaching plan, especially considering today’s students have grown up with the Internet, cell phones, laptops, and other forms of instant communication and information, never knowing a world without it. (Hard as that is to believe.)
The old way of teaching is obsolete. Having grown up with the technology, today’s student brain is hard-wired to receive and process information at breakneck speed, which is why standing in front of the class lecturing to them from a textbook while telling them they can’t communicate with their friends and classmates – for eight hours a day no less – is a model that simply cannot be sustained if American students are expected to hold any competitive advantage in the emerging global market. They learn more and learn it faster and more efficiently from computers and even their peers than they ever could from the same process that’s been practiced for centuries.
American schools need to catch up, and catch up quick, to avoid turning all of our students into the type of flash-mobbing miscreants we’re seeing daily on the news.
This is simply the best place to start that forward motion, and if implemented across the United States would be a gigantic step in the right direction, for all students of all backgrounds; inner-city, rural, or otherwise.