Thoughtful Tech: Administration should make sure curriculum makes full use of new available technology

HiLite Staff

With adding various technologies like Canvas, CHS is continuing to increase its technological presence. This year, with the addition of more technology carts, CHS will introduce a two-to-one ratio of students to laptops. Next year, the district plans to have a one-to-one ratio. This transition is similar in methodology to what many other schools, such as Noblesville High School, have adopted. Schools like Noblesville have been designing or redesigning curricula around the near-constant access to a device and internet. Many of the benefits of the one-to-one trend, such as digital access to homework and lessons and replacing physical textbooks, are only possible because every student has a device. While CHS’s plan appears to be to follow a similar path, caution must be exercised to make sure such a system is implemented correctly and effectively.

The HiLite staff applauds the district for taking its time and making sure each step of the integration, such as technology for teachers, works effectively and is taught so they may use it if they choose. 

However, not all classes need devices, and many class that do use devices regularly either have computers in their rooms or have an arrangement for devices already. While there certainly are classes that will appreciate the shift to a device-centered curriculum, the district should not add technology for technology’s sake. Focusing on educating both students and teachers about the benefits of technology will be as important as adding devices. 

Bringing in devices at a one-to-one ratio also ignores how many devices are already present in a classroom in the form of phones and laptops students bring. Many of these devices are already fully capable of everything a class would need and may even be better suited for use than devices provided by the school. This may end up causing in-school devices to be overlooked. As it stands, the HiLite staff believes the best way to avoid situations where provided technology is ignored is to make sure the devices are of high-quality. Higher quality devices are an expensive investment but oftentimes last much longer and perfor
m much better. They would also allow for more capability and fewer frustrated teachers and students and help even the playing field, though that won’t be necessary should the curriculum be flexible to the various devices. 

Due to the nature of this change, the transition will not be easy. By letting every student have a device, CHS is transitioning to a technology-based system allowing for more freedom for students and teachers alike. However, teachers and students should focus on integrating this into the classroom or this investment will fall to the wayside.