IN Phoenixville Area Fall 2017 - Page 20

We can thank educators for this as they take cautious steps to integrate technology into the classroom to ensure that students maintain the collaborative spirit of traditional learning. Educators are incorporating new approaches to learning through STEM education, learner-center spaces, and incorporation of digital tools where necessary; all while teachers are keeping up with the technology Joneses. W hen you look around, you will see the soft glow of light beaming onto the faces of our peers as they immerse themselves in their smartphones, tablets and computers, getting their news, updates from family and friends, and staying connected. We see technology seeping into every aspect of our lives; our cars are equipped with technology to connect to our smart devices through Wi-Fi and “smart” homes allow our phones to control anything from thermostats to light switches. Technology is an integral part of almost all aspects of our lives, but as we look toward one of the most ancient traditions, it has seemingly stayed, for the most part, traditional. As institutions start to examine advancements in technology in the classroom and new approaches to learning, we are seeing variations to classroom settings, an uptick in digital learning, and teachers keeping up with the ever-changing educational landscape. According to National Geographic, it was 1635 when the first public high school in the United States opened in Boston—a room with desks and chairs in neat rows and the teacher’s desk adorning the front of the classroom. Since then, we’ve seen blackboards transform to whiteboards, and now to interactive displays. Paper and pencils have been erased by computers. Yet we haven’t seen technology completely overhaul the classroom. Teachers haven’t (yet) been replaced by robots, and students are still lugging home heavy textbooks. STEM EDUCATION Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, is a curriculum based on educating students in subjects that have been underserved by graduating seniors entering the workforce in the past. Each of these fields encompasses a vast number of disciplines under them, touching almost all aspects of our lives. An increasing number of jobs are available each year in these fields and there are schools opening across the country that are solely based on STEM learning. There continues to be an increase in the number of students applying for admission, so much so that public schools are now incorporating these types of courses into their curriculum to keep up with student interests. Teachers are teaching their students with an interdisciplinary approach based on real-world applications, allowing them the opportunity to conduct research, connect with executives, and collaborate with their peers. A report done by InTech explains that “a successful STEM education provides students with science, math and engineering/technology in sequences that build upon each other and can be used with real-world applications.” The National Science Foundation estimates th ] \[وH؜]Z[XH\[H^XYH[\]Z\HX][Y[H[ˈH[X[]XX\]\HZ[\YXܛ™Y\[[\Y\Y[\H][H\[[]Z\]\H[ SH\[\H]YX]ܜY[[\[[ZK]H[\X\H\Y[[]Hۈ\]\Hݙ\H[\ܝ[[ [\XXYX]ܜ\H[\[Y[[[ܙX\HXܘ][ۈ[[Y[Y[\YH[\[Y[][ۈو[][[X\ˈ\XX\Y[[\[YZ]\ܘY\HY][ۘ[\XوX\[[\][ۈY\H[Xۈ[^K\[][[X\]HݙY[܈[ܙH[\Xܘ]]BX\[ˈXܙ[HX[][Y[[ܞKX[[\X[ۈ[H[Hو[][]H^HHܚ]X[H[ۚ]]H][Y[ ݚY[Y[]HXB\H^HY[YܝXH[YH^\Z\Y[[[[H܈܈\YX\[˂QUSPTS‘Y][X\[\H\HوY\]HX\[™X[]]YK܈]H[ًXK\\™ۙHYH\Hو\]\[X][[H[[Y][ۘ[\ܛ\[Y\ܛ\›܈\X[X\[\ܛ\ˈY[ۘH[YY[Hۈ^]Z[XH]HX\H]HX\\\\[[ܛX][ۈ] [܈H[\] \B[]Z[XK][[[[Z]Y\\\XX\[Y[]HH]\XX\[ˈ^H]H]\\]\X\ Y[]XZHX\[[ܙH[[X\B[][]Hو[]YX[ Y\XY\[HZJH\ܝZ\ڙXˈY[\H\[X\\H\[Z\]ܚو\\\˂N K MN M ^ QTTH[^[H\XB۝[YYۈYH