The Universe is your classroom:  New technology and education
April 29, 2011
The Universe is your classroom: New technology and education

Although the Internet and the World Wide Web are having, and will continue to have a revolutionary impact on the education system, Louise Bowman believes that what we are experiencing is just the tip of the iceberg of technology that supports education.{{more}}

Bowman, speaking at the 12th lecture in the Girls’ High School (GHS) Centenary lecture series, on the topic “The Universe is your Classroom: New technology and Education”, highlighted other technological systems that she says facilitate dynamic educational experiences.

She noted that computers and software are particularly important, due to the fact that they are relatively inexpensive, and provide countless support tools for teachers and students.

“Also of note are e-readers and tablet devices which will allow for the purchase of digital text books in lieu of their print counterparts.”

“And also hugely important for the future is cloud computing, which will allow schools to easily obtain and create educational software systems without huge investments in the supporting computing infrastructure, which will enable cheaper, smaller, more mobile devices in the classroom and labs while the heavy processing occurs in the ‘cloud’.

Bowman acknowledged that there are challenges which will be derived from the advance of technology.

One such hurdle is the comprehensive computerization of schools and computer laboratories, which may be hindered by the unavailability of well equipped network and Internet connections.

Another is the poor maintenance and updating of these facilities, due to costs of computers, software and operating, as well as the proper involvement of teachers.

“Ultimately the success or failure of technology projects in the classroom hinges on the human factor and the willingness of the teacher to step into uncharted territory.”

“Thus the successful teacher in the modernized classroom must be trained to perform a new set of tasks to fulfill this role of instructional manager.”

“We are living in a world where knowledge, information and the ability to create innovative technologies is a major component of economic activity and growth; therefore, a key responsibility of education authorities is to use the educational resources provided by modern technologies to prepare students for careers in those very technologies.”

“And to best prepare students for a career in these very technologies, educators just do not have to focus on a curriculum related to science and technology, engineering and math, but must also prepare students to communicate, to create, to innovate, to imagine and to envision.”

The lecture, which was held at Frenches House, on Thursday, April 8, also saw the honoring of current Headmistress Andrea Bowman by the organizing committee.

Bowman, a second generation headmistress of the institution, following in the footsteps of her mother Norma Keizer, is the 16th headmistress of the school.

Celebratory events continue over the next 8 days, beginning this Saturday, April 30, with a netball tournament, followed by a tea party, lighting of the compound and the launching of the school’s 100th anniversary publication on Sunday, May 1.