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Published:February 2nd, 2008 15:49 EST
Curriculum Trends in Education

Curriculum Trends in Education

By Glenn Brandon Burke (Mentor/Speaker)

 The world moves faster and faster everyday, and with every half decade or so, it seems to evolve into an area that one couldn`t fathom days before. The radio was mind-blowing. Then came television, then the Internet. The Internet is still just a baby considering it really hit the mass market about 10-years-ago. Businesses had to quickly jump on board.

Now, Internet communication is just as important as, if not more so, than the telephone when conducting business. Now we`re moving into multi-media, not just for entertainment, but for business as well. It seems that public educational system is the last to incorporate new technology.  Educational curriculum must advance with technology in order to produce the innovators of the future. I feel educational curriculum will be, or at least should be, dictated by technological advances. Sadly, the American public educational system as a whole I feel will stifle our children`s growth. And here`s the reason I believe it so "Accountability seems to be on the forefront North America wide. On the surface, it seems to make sense to make sure that students learn what society feels they need to know. In reality however, accountability severely limits learning, as teachers are more worried about meeting the curriculum requirements and not on having the student learn about the subject whole.

Different students also have different learning needs and interests and a rigid curriculum really restricts both the teacher and the student. Accountability has really cookie cutter-ed our whole educational system. Students need to learn to learn, not just gloss over certain facts about a subject. American I feel has been built, and is as great as it is because we are a people that think...not repeat the thoughts and ideas of others.

Accountability taken to extremes, which we are seeing in many states including Nevada, and more specifically, Clark County, school districts, may be doing more harm long term that we know. Teachers and students both need to be doing there job in the classroom but restricting curriculum and crunching numbers do not produce a class of outstanding and free thinkers. Until we can break away from national accountability, and perhaps move into the autonomous structure, I find it difficult to advance our curriculum trends for the better. However, I have researched curriculum trends and have found, and agree, that technology is the way trends for curriculum should be going. Unfortunately, the American public educational system is not fully on-board.

Providing technology in schools has been successful in recent years. Most schools have computer labs and many have computers in every classroom. More than 90% of all schools are connected to the Internet, and more than 33% of teachers have Internet access in their classrooms " (Williams, 2005). Yet teachers readily admit that they are not making as much use of technology as they could. Nearly 30 percent of teachers said their students use computers only one hour per week; nearly 40 percent said their students do not use computers in the classroom at all. Although technology is more prevalent in the schools, several factors affect whether and how it is used. Those factors include placement of computers for equitable access, technical support, effective goals for technology use, and new roles for teachers, time for ongoing professional development, appropriate coaching of teachers at different skill levels, teacher incentives for use, availability of educational software, and sustained funding for technology.

Access to technology is an important issue for teachers and students. Although schools may have computers available, one factor that determines their use is where those computers are located. If computers are connected to the Internet but are not in a convenient location, the availability to students and teachers will be limited. To make the best use of limited connections and equipment, schools can explore various strategies for allocating computers.

The standard computer lab is commonly used in schools. If the use of the computer lab is carefully scheduled, it will provide high equipment utilization; on the other hand, keeping the computers in one place may be a barrier to using them on a continual but intermittent basis as a part of the curriculum. According to Cimarron Memorial High School senior, Alana Gross, It seems that some classrooms are decently equipped with current technology, such as my broadcasting class with the most recent Mac computers for multi-media usage. However, some classes where you`d think they`d have more than a white-board and overhead projector do not. (Personal interview.)

According to Phillip Bond, Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, I believe powerful technologies under development in U.S. labs right now are about to transform learning in ways we can`t even imagine. Rapid advancements in the years ahead could enable new  learning environments using such things as simulation, visualization tools, virtual worlds,  personal intelligent tutors, vast digital libraries and museums, learning and collaboration  unbounded by geography " (Bond, 2005).

The technologies that are coming could help students of all ages reach their potential by teaching individuals in the way they learn best and at their own pace. We could have knowledge and training when and where we need them. Students will be able to learn faster and better.  They`ll reach much higher levels of achievement, and I believe, in the long run, at a lower cost.

At the same time, exciting new jobs and new occupations would be created for education professionals. Development and deployment of these technologies for learning curriculum could have profound effects on U.S. competitiveness, job opportunities, and our standard of living.  With rapid technological change and growing competition around the world, a highly skilled, constantly learning workforce is more vital to our nation than ever before.

Moreover, technology should be further integrated into the classroom curriculum, and hopefully it will within the next 10-years. As an Oral Communication adjunct instructor in the post-secondary field, and as a motivational speaker, perhaps I will lend way with a technology company to manufacture a speaker`s virtual-reality-setting simulator, which will allow future speaker to see himself or herself and practice in a multitude of professional speaker setting. Just image yourself practicing " a presentation at UNLV`S Thomas and Mack Center in front of 20,000 attendees.

Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed., Motivational Speaker, Author, Columnist

www.GlennBrandonBurke.com

www.HighSchoolDropoutToCEO.com

References

Bond, P. (2005). Retrieved Nov. 01, 2006, from http://ncrel.org

Gross, A. (2006). (n.d.). Personal Interview, Student, Cimarron Memorial High School

Williams, G. (2005). Retrieved Nov., 2005, from http://ncrel.org     

 

 



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