I wanted to share my blog post appearing on the “Microsoft On The Issues” blog…it’s about infusing service-learning and technology in the classroom and a new initiative we launched called the Service & Technology Academic Resource Team (START).
I am very excited about this milestone as a result of our private/public partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service that we announced last summer. The START initiative will spotlight student-led approaches to technology learning and service. The heart and soul of START is to promote students as partners in supporting their teachers to integrate technology into effective teaching practices. I think we need to go beyond the thinking that students can just fix the printer and support other tech issues. Students can be outstanding academic and technical partners with educators and – in doing so – provide a great service to their schools and communities, experience real-world learning experiences and gain 21st century skills.
I think this project will also help break down barriers with those teachers who are still uncomfortable with embracing technology in the classroom. I think there was a time when some teachers were fearful of the lead that students have and the comfort students have with using technology…but this project really gives teachers an opportunity not only to not be afraid of that potential, but to harness it for both the betterment of their usage of technology in the classroom, but also to give students responsibility to help and to volunteer to serve the school in a way that not only helps the day-to-day usage of technology, but also may trigger students' interest or capacity to venture into a technology career and get excited about learning.
What do you think about this idea of students taking a different role in the teaching and learning process? Kids…no longer just consumers of education, but active participants, part of the solution and figuring out how to create better learning environments with their teachers…