Contemporary schools are doing a disservice to their students if they are not constantly training them how to use digital services and tools for their subject area. In my math classroom, we use computers to analyze graphs, record data, and present findings.
My students are mostly low-income residents of New York City, spanning Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.
From all demographics, they have diverse family histories, ethnic backgrounds, and stories to share with each other.
At our school, we attempt to tap into those stories through collaborative efforts, persistence in our work, and kindness amongst our staff and student body. As a member of the Expeditionary Learning network, we bring our students to the wild on a program called Outward Bound so that they can learn more about themselves and come back to our building with gusto.
Outside of this experience, we craft lessons that involve talking to experts in the field and creating products to share with our community.
Overall, we try to be an inclusive environment that fosters respect and knowledge.
I am requesting 30 laptops for use in our classroom.
While our students never want for caring and collaboration in our school, the tools they have at their disposal are limited. Our computers, while better than some other schools, are few in number as our student population climbs higher and higher. New laptops will help them learn to streamline their skills as digital natives in preparation for their futures.
In my class, we emphasize analysis and exploration - two things that can only be done well using the Internet and certain programs like Geometer's Sketchpad, Google SketchUp, and Microsoft Excel. New laptops will make it possible to manipulate online resources so that my students can learn at a higher level.
My students will be tracking their spending habits while crafting budgets for their future; they will be looking at graphs and analyzing data; they will be exploring trends and patterns to extrapolate information; and more.
With these tools, they will be prepared for the 21st century and beyond.
In contrast to the rich suburbs of New York City, my students do not have access to newer technology that could really help them be prepared for the modern world.
Imagine a student coming out of high school with knowledge of spreadsheet analysis, Internet power searching, and more. Instead of waiting to train them, these students could get started immediately in jobs of great importance.
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