How to Get Ahead in Technology When Your School Is Behind
Technology plays a big role in every part of our lives. We use it for work, to keep in touch with friends, and to educate ourselves. It is now more important than ever before that schools make technology a part of the classroom. Many institutions are doing just that. But what happens when you are at a school that is behind from the others? You might be worried that you are falling behind students at other schools, which could make things very hard for you in secondary, post-secondary, and beyond. There are steps you can take to make sure that this does not have a negative impact on you, your education, and your future.
Histon and Impington Junior School near Cambridge, England made computer science a mandatory subject in 2014 for students as young as five and all the way to their high school graduation. Coding classes are being added to many schools in the United States. Even if this is not coming from a higher authority, it only takes one teacher to make a big difference. In Oakville, Ontario, a teacher at River Oaks Public School started teaching code to students using online courses offered by a not-for-profit organization at Code.org. That teacher is not even trained to teach computer science! There may be an instructor at your school willing to do the same, or one that you know well who you could convince to do something similar.
Many children have used tablets and devices since they were only a few years old. By having their own devices, students are more responsible due to the need to protect a very valuable little machine. The very experience of learning is different from the world your parents grew up in. Those little gadgets allow you to go to Code.org yourself and start learning without being told to do so by any teacher. Even if your school is behind in technology, you can use the technology at your home to teach yourself after school, on weekends, and during the summer months.
Jobs in science, technology engineering and math, also known as STEM, are going to grow by twelve percent between 2013 and 2022, according to government research. Computer science will be a part of 35% of these jobs. You can give yourself a better chance at these opportunities by finding volunteer work related to them. If you are nervous about your skill-level, volunteering is a great chance to practice, make mistakes, and learn with the help of experts.
Many schools are already using mobile technology, coding, and even virtual reality in their classrooms. If your school is not one of those, there is a risk you might fall behind. But all of those pieces of technology can also be found outside of the classroom. Encourage your favourite teacher, your parents, or a trusted adult to help you in your technological education. Use your own phone or laptop to start studying right away. Look for volunteer opportunities after school or during the summer that can help you learn by doing. Even if your school is behind, there are many ways for you to get ahead.
CBC News. “Back to school: Canada lagging in push to teach kids computer coding.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/back-to-school-canada-lagging-in-push-to-teach-kids-computer-coding-1.3185926
Mareco, Danny. “10 Reasons Today’s Students NEED Technology in the Classroom.” https://www.securedgenetworks.com/blog/10-reasons-today-s-students-need-technology-in-the-classroom
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