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The Debate: Are traditional skills lost to technology?
by Sheryl Allen
Oct 30, 2011 | 1003 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sheryl Allen
Sheryl Allen
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I know there are intriguing mysteries about my great-grandparents yet to be discovered. My sleuthing has just begun, and the Davis Clipper website has been amazing. They were Bountiful residents, and I have discovered obituaries, articles about city council meetings when John Fisher was mayor, and even an article written by John Fisher himself in the 1890s. I did it in a matter of minutes and in my own office.

Computers and technology are the present and the future for you, me, and certainly for the Centennials, the moniker given to the young generation now in our schools. And Davis School District is on the cutting edge in preparing our students – so cutting edge that the District was recently recognized by Ed Net Research as one of the top three districts in the nation for innovation and cost-saving programs in the integration of technology and curriculum.

Newly opened Centennial Junior High in Kaysville (named to celebrate one hundred years for Davis District) is leading the way by giving each student a Netbook, their personal, take-home computer for instruction. Wi-Fi hubs in the school support the computers and core curriculum has been designed to utilize the Internet frequently. Teachers were hired on the basis of their willingness to fully utilize Netbooks in their instruction.

E books are accessed online at considerable savings and, as knowledge and information changes, the electronic textbooks can easily be altered and kept current. Teachers post their assignment online; student assignments are kept in remote storage (cloud storage); and some correction of assignments can be done using Canvas which can allow teachers more time for working with students rather than technical correcting of papers.

Davis District is trying to expand this innovative technology, but it is hindered by that problem which is common to all Utah schools – inadequate funding (that’s a future column, I hope). The District has agreed to provide the appropriate electronic infrastructure within the school building, and teachers themselves are working to obtain more Netbooks or iPads. Teachers are spending extra hours applying for grants to bring this technology to their students. The grants can come from the federal government, local companies such as Chevron, Donors Choose, the Davis Education Foundation, and any nearby rock under which a treasure may be buried. In other words, teachers are being innovative in seeking scarce funding to improve their teaching.

Centennial Junior High invested their school supply money in this technology rather than paper textbooks. Thus far, the computers are holding up with about 1 percent needing repairs. Parents have signed a damage replacement agreement which seems only fair.

I rate this program with an A+. Advanced technology is a guaranteed part of the future of the Centennials. And technology changes at lightning speed. The more familiar students are with computers and other personal electronic devices, the more adaptable they will be in the future. But please, parents, limit use. Kids need lots of physical activity as well.

This technology appears to be economical! I want my grandchildren to be completely comfortable with technology. I get stymied far too often. I need them to answer my tech questions even if it’s about using the electronic archives of the Clipper.

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