For most of our students, it is hard to imagine communicating without email or text message. The number of ways our students learn, share, and communicate has grown exponentially in the last few years. Each generation has sought to make the transfer of information faster and more efficient than the generation before them but the world today is changing at a faster and more immediate pace than at any time in our history. New technologies like Amazon’s Alexa, Merge Cubes, and Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program will be the next generation’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The nature of voice technology allows for screen-free interactions and gives students much needed life-skills practice in the areas of forming questions and focused listening. Augmented and Virtual Reality enables students to learn by doing, which increases student engagement and helps with retention and enhances learning outcomes.
When the final bell rings for the year, and all the students rush out of school, teachers don’t run out with them. They do more during the summer to improve their craft than any other profession. While I hope many of our teachers get to enjoy time with their friends and families, I know many of them are sitting on interview panels, writing and rewriting curricula, attending conferences, digitizing resources, and much more.