This week saw the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first President to use a BlackBerry (we still don’t know if he will be allowed to keep it!), have a Facebook page (almost 4 million supporters), and use a Twitter account (144,000 followers).
Many observers believe that having a tech-savvy administration in the White House will herald a new age of technological innovation and President Obama’s comments on the campaign trail and elsewhere have done nothing to diminish expectations.
He has also shown himself to be acutely aware of the drop-off in educational standards that America appears to have suffered over the last couple of decades vis-à-vis the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to math and science. And his economic recovery plan includes, in his own words, “the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen”.
What we can be fairly sure of over the next four years is that technology will once again be front and center of the educational debate. Whether it’s making schools more energy-efficient, getting more SMART Boards into the classroom, accelerating broadband adoption, or making the teaching of computer and Internet skills mandatory in every school, our children – particularly those currently in elementary school or younger – will be the beneficiaries.
Of course, along with increased technology in the classroom comes increased responsibility for teachers and parents. The more our kids are exposed to complex computer applications and the Internet, the more they will need controls and supervision to guide them in the right direction. Even amid these troubling times for job security and a stumbling economy, a period of renewal for both the classroom and the educational infrastructure as a whole will be an exciting time to live through.
For me, it can’t start soon enough!
The Online Mom
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