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President's Corner: Preparing for tomorrow

Miranda Beard

The world around us is always on a path of change. Leading that change today is technology. Technology is everywhere we go. Many of our children have mobile devices to communicate with family and friends. This is the world our children live in today. But unfortunately there is a digital divide in many school districts. Some districts won’t allow the use of these devices as part of the learning process in the classroom. In some cases, schools are not even wired or equipped to handle the latest technology. A few labs with outdated computers is as good as it gets for some districts.

It is amazing to see a 2- or 3-year-old pick up a smartphone or tablet and fearlessly know how to use it. As school leaders, we can take a cue from these children and not be afraid to explore the possibility of technology. It’s time to consider breaking loose from some of those traditional learning techniques that worked well 50 years ago but bore today’s tech-savvy generation. I have spoken to students who say learning with the use of technology adds excitement and prepares them for the workforce in the 21st century.

During my travels, I met a man who was a consultant for several manufacturing companies. He said his clients are finding it increasingly difficult to hire a workforce with the skills to operate the innovative equipment in their plants. As many manufacturers modernize their plants, employees must know how to use technology on the job.

Proponents see technology in schools as another way to engage students and make learning fun. Opponents say using technology in schools is just another distraction. Let us explore both sides of the issue before we reject options to prepare our schools for the current technological age.

Let’s make a promise to our children that we will give them what they need to be lifelong learners. Let us expect greatness from every child and from each other, from the boardroom to the classroom, and from lawmakers at the state capitals to those who make decisions at the U.S. Capitol. The children in our schools are counting on us to provide them with the latest tools to prepare them today for tomorrow.


Miranda Beard

Miranda Beard (mirandabeard1@icloud.com) is NSBA’s 2016-17 president and a member of Mississippi’s Laurel School Board.
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