An article from Info-Tech Titans, Spring 2004.
Computers in School
By Bill Garrison
Computer technology is dominant in today's world. It provides thinking tools we should learn with, and tools we should learn about. However, there is much dispute over how this technology should be handled in schools, which slows progress. We believe students should be an active part of that discussion.
First, the topic matters most to us, who are preparing for life outside school, and second, we are generally much more familiar with what computers can do for us than our parents or teachers are.Some people want what is cost efficient, other want what is easy to maintain and operate, and still others want what is fun and interesting.
These choices affect us directly. For example, Internet filters are useful in school to block unwanted websites out, but when they start blocking out important educational sites, a change has to be made.
Second, giving students a voice in how computers are used in school will make us more interested in school. School has always been about teaching children how to make good choices, and we would like the chance to exercise these skills in a real-world situation that will affect us. We know that the technology choices we are growing up with are different from what our parents and teachers had.
Most students feel technology has a big impact on our personal lives. It helps with our homework, helps us learn more about the world, and makes school more fun. Many students say they would first consult the Internet, before reading books or asking teachers. We expect reliable computers to be available to all students, at all times.
In every class there are always a few students who know how to figure out the problem, and even fix it in many cases. We would like an opportunity to help out more, both to develop our own abilities and to make it easier for teachers who use them to teach with.
The more interested and the less frustrated students are with our computers, the more we will learn.