New technology will improve performance

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New technology will improve performance

By Fiona Asbury, Opinions Editor

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CHS is beginning to introduce a new age of technology and student learning. While these changes will inevitably come with a multitude of challenges and problems, as any technological introduction does, it is a step in the right direction.

According to Newsweek’s 2014 High School Ranking list, CHS is number 24 of the best high schools in the nation. Such high prestige should be accompanied by innovation and creativity, both of which are fostered through the addition of the new technology.

According to a research project sponsored through the U.S. Dept. of Education, introducing technology into classrooms resulted in changed student and teacher roles, more motivation, improved technical skills, more collaboration with peers, and the increased use of outside resources.

If a school has the opportunity to make such changes possible, it should capitalize on the opportunity, which is precisely what CHS is doing.

Obviously, the technology that MCPS is instituting in schools will not be a drastic change, as it takes a bit of time to get up and running. However, technology is all about experimentation, so by introducing new technological aspects in waves, students and staff have a chance to ease their way into this new learning environment.

The first thing to be instituted was the Wi-Fi, which still has some room for improvement, but should not be written off as a failure. Many students are now able to use it rather than having to rely on cellular data, a vast improvement over previous years.

Simply by making information more accessible to students, CHS is creating a more productive environment that will ultimately help CHS move up even further in the rankings. Rather than having to wait for a slow connection to load, Wi-Fi allows for students to load and use information almost instantly.

According to Information Technology Systems Specialist Robert Jones, CHS will be introducing Chromebook laptops in classrooms throughout this year and next year.

Through the addition of laptops in the classrooms students can discover information that was previously only told to them, thus expanding the style and definition of learning at CHS.

According to a Scholastic article, introducing laptops into classrooms prepares students for the competition within the technological world.

If students are to go into the future with skill sets that revolve around technology, it is vital that they are exposed to technology as much as possible, such as by using laptops in the classroom.

While the “laptops in the classroom” debate has been exhausted, it goes without saying that regardless of how one views the change, it is at least the creation of a more high-tech learning environment.

The creation of Gmail accounts for use with Google Docs is a way of breaking the barrier between school and home. Information can be instantly shared between staff and other students, so it eliminates the inconvenience of having to spend valuable time sharing documents in person.

Ultimately, implementing new technological advances is a way to make an efficient school even more efficient. Students who are given new tools are excited to use them for their work, and by saving time, technology in school leaves room for more individual thinking and creativity.

Opponents of the plan might argue tha t this new technology has too great a cost for such a frivolous endeavor. However, MCPS is wisely focusing on issues that will have long-term effects on students. Introducing new technology is not just some way to spend taxpayer money, it is a way to bring new resources to students to enhance their learning.

According to the MCPS Strategic Technology Plan, MCPS has budgeted for this cost, so it will not be detrimental to the regular school agenda.

Since students this year will mainly be seeing the introduction of technology in the form of Chromebooks in their social studies classes, they should not be expecting some all-encompassing shift in their daily life. Just as any big change, it will take time and is just the beginning. By taking this first step, MCPS and CHS are preparing their students for a more enriching learning experience and a brighter future.