In 2014 former president Barack Obama announced almost $3 billion in technology commitments to the American education system. These commitments included products from companies like Apple and AT&T. This helped to bring more laptops, Ipads, and Wi-Fi connectivity to schools around the country.
Cedar Cliff has kept up with the many technological shifts of 2017 (and potentially 2018) with ease. Perhaps the biggest change to accommodate this technology shift is the purchase of the gray Chromebook laptops.
The numerous carts of these Chromebooks allow many classrooms to include technology in everyday lessons. Google Classroom, Quizlet, Google Drive, and Kahoot are just some of the popular teaching technologies aided by the laptops.
Many classes have even taken on the challenge of using their textbooks exclusively online. Mr. Dan Murphy’s AP statistics class is run essentially by the incorporation of laptops into every lesson plan. Everything from textbook pages to the homework assignments is done online.
“The computers are vital to AP statistics. Many of the source materials come from the internet,” said Murphy.
This helps to have relevant and newsworthy topics available for lessons and shows statistics in real-world situations.
On the other hand, the inclusions of technology so heavily in a class can present many changes for the teacher. Murphy has been teaching AP statistics for just two years and is still trying to adjust to the changes in the classroom, thanks to the laptops. His teaching style has had to change in order to allow for the technology.
“I am much more distant from the students because of it. It’s a student-centered learning environment where students are accelerated and self-motivated in the classroom, so my role is different,” Murphy explained.
Senior Gabe Angus feels that “with more technology in class, the less the teachers actually teach to the class.”
This change has its perks though. It allows for much of the class to be student run. Time management and proficiency in technology are some important skills for not only this specific class, but also the future.
Murphy is content with the technology available to him for this class. “I just wish I knew more about the lab technologies we have now, and Google Classroom,” Murphy said.
This adjustment has also had an impact on students of the class. Senior Elena Massaro said, “I like it, but sometimes I feel like I am teaching myself. It’s nice being able to go at my own pace, but sometimes it makes it more difficult to work through the problems.”
On the other end of the spectrum, senior Skye Sterner said, “I like the online exercises because you can work at your own pace and are forced to learn on your own.”
The availability of laptops in classes such as AP statistics is a learning experience, but proves to prepare technological proficiency, which is very useful for the future.