By Justin Vincent
Computer Science Instructor
Technology has drastically changed our society in the last 20 years. The ease with which we can now access and distribute information is unprecedented and it has fundamentally impacted the way we live our lives and, more specifically, educate our children. The online resources available for students and teachers are astounding and the speed with which we can communicate is amazing. From learning management systems, to video tutorials and lessons, to online assessments, to virtual field trips, technology has given us the ability to engage students in new and exciting ways every day.
MMI has recently adopted a new LMS (Learning Management Service). This system gives teachers the ability to create an online hub for their courses that provides students with easy access to course resources such as notes, readings and videos. It also serves as a place to submit assignments electronically and receive feedback and grades. A huge benefit to a system like this is that it allows students to access their courses at anytime from anywhere (as long as they have Internet access).
Our Upper School students participate in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program that allows them to bring their own device to school and have it connected to the school’s Wi-Fi. Students use their devices to take notes and access the LMS and their class resources. Middle school students have access to online resources via our computer labs or laptops for in-school use.
MMI teachers strive to use technology with our students. Classrooms are equipped with projectors and Apple TVs and all teachers have iPads. A visitor walking through our hallways will observe a myriad of styles and techniques of technology integration. Some classes will be discussing notes that were reviewed for homework on the LMS, while others are participating in a traditional lecture about a current events video distributed online. Another class may have math students reviewing problems where the teacher is demonstrating via an iPad connected to a projector so that the example can be recorded and posted online for students to refer back to while completing their homework. In another part of the building, a group might be witnessed creating podcasts to describe a historical event, while across the hall a class is taking an online assessment that gives them instant feedback.
All of these things help our students become well versed in the use of technology and help lay a foundation of understanding that will be needed for their futures. Our youth today are growing up in a world in which technology is growing at a fantastic rate, and they will go to college and eventually enter a workforce that requires technological skills far beyond previous generations. Utilization of technology that is purposefully integrated into the education experience can prepare students for their future. At MMI, we work to do just that.