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Less Paper, More Learning: The Future of Education

Technological innovations are helping teachers reach students in new ways.

Creations such as iPhones, iPads, Kindles and Droids have been presented to consumers in such a flaunting manor that many can’t resist acquainting themselves with these innovations. School districts are no exception.

Already, relatively recent technological advances in the classroom like overhead projectors and SMART Boards are becoming a thing of the past. There is an up and coming generation of technologically filled classrooms called “paperless classrooms.”

Now that doesn’t mean there is absolutely no use for paper, but pretty close to it. Students use new tools such as laptops and iPads, blogs, podcasts, audio-video software, and visit websites like Teacher Tube, Facebook and Twitter.

Interactive Education

Milford Public Schools have already been exposed to these types of learning. Educators and administrators are continuing to become familiar with new technological tools that will help students succeed and, they say, create a more enjoyable learning environment.

“All of these [technological] advances have made in-class learning more entertaining and more interactive,” says Chris Kulenych, a language arts teacher at . “These technologies have made lecture classes more engaging and more relevant to all kids.”

Kulenych is one of many who love the new innovations in the classroom. “Using laptops and SMART boards really helps kids who are visual learners, and they give kids access to incredible amounts of information - much more than any teacher can go over in a 45-minute period,” he says.

Real World Experience

In these “paperless classroom,” teachers will have supplies like an Apple iPad or a Kindle, and students will come into class and grab his or her assigned iPad or Kindle, which will be their learning tool.

Whether it be following along to the teacher’s online lesson plan, posting their thoughts on an online journal, or even downloading a book directly to their device and reading it in class, the possibilities are just about endless. Supplying students with these learning tools will also cut back on the amount of paper used.

Adding technology to the classroom captures the attention of students because it incorporates something they love and use all the time -- iPads, iPhones, computers -- and links it with an educational purpose.

“Kids today are constantly using technology, whether it be an iPod or smart phone, and now we as teachers get to use that same technology,” Kulenych says.

Everything that needs to be accomplished in a classroom is still very much possible with these new innovations - if not more so. Online tests can be administered, research can be conducted, papers can be produced, and sharing ideas can be done both inside and outside of the classroom.

“By using laptops and other technology in class, we are also able to give kids real world experience,” Kulenych notes. “[Students] are going to have to use technology in almost any field they choose, and in-class use of technology gives them an opportunity to practice that.”

RONALD M GOLDWYN November 18, 2011 at 01:48 PM
Today it is fine to know how to use electronics, I used a slide rule and a typewriter. You will note that they don't require an electric power source. I remember that in order to get an Amatuer Radio License one had to receive and transmit in Morse Code, but that I believe has passed. No-one uses the typewriter as the means of writing a letter. Just a few are used for filling in forms. I hear that the CD is going the way of the dinosaur. Yes I have a cellphone, It can text messages and take photos as well as make a phone call, but that is its limit. The one positive thing about it is that it is absolutely free for me to use. I was in awe of my father when he told me how he made a crystal radio set using earphones to hear. When I was my father's age I had built a 5 tube radio/transmitter for use on the new citizens band. Today the US Government says you can't build homebrew units. I'm all for learning how to use electronics. I bought a Radio Shack Model 1, costing $500 and had a 4k memory. I had to self teach myself BASIC in order for the computer to do anything, but for God's sake, students must still learn to survive when the electricty stops and the battery dies at night.
Milford CT Environmental Concerns Coalition December 30, 2011 at 02:50 PM
If Milford's Schools are going to dabble with 21st Century Technology, why not emulate the best!-( http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/04/20/high-tech-high-san-diego-california ). The success of their students says it all. I dislike paying for poor educational results. I really dislike failing to educate and inspire our young citizens. A great educational is essential to our Nation's future success, productivity and prosperity. I like my money, I spend and invest my money wisely and I expect the same from my local schools and elected officials. I demand that my tax dollars be used productively and achieve positive outcomes. I'd like portfolio grades to be averaged in 50/50 with standardized test scores. Not all kids test the same, Portfolios reflect the students overall achievements. Warmest Regards, DD Vasseur Every citizens should attend BOE Meetings.
Hal DePino December 30, 2011 at 03:14 PM
The types of technology needed to build a paperless classroom costs lots of money. A community would really need to embrace and support this trend. There are lots of grants out there that would support these advancements, but you have to have a person who devotes much of their workday tracking these grants dwon and filling out the paperwork. It's doable, but not if the community is not willing to support it.

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