Gazing at the stars. Digging in the dirt. Catching butterflies. Splashing in puddles. Children are scientists before they can read, add or quite possibly before they can even speak! The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines science as “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.” Yes, indeed, our Eagle View students enter kindergarten as full-fledged scientists. Not only that, they are budding engineers! Building forts. Constructing towers. Mixing concoctions. Assembling toys.
In education, as in other professions, we are surrounded with acronyms — NWEA, ACT, GPA, R-CBM, COGAT, IAS, OLPA and the list goes on. Each acronym is important in our work with students. They stand for various documents, procedures, data and assessments. They become commonplace in practice and a part of our language.
Teacher manuals, filmstrips, 8mm movie reels, tape recorder, opaque projector, chalkboard and a purple ditto machine with that horrible smelling fluid. I know I am aging myself, but those were the tools I had access to as I began my teaching career in 1987. Reflecting back I sound like a grandmother as I am able to recount the advent of — and explain — dot matrix printer paper that rolled out of the machine with perforated edges, floppy disks with “holes” that the students couldn’t touch, and video cameras so big they hurt your shoulder in use.
At a recent Curriculum Board meeting, I was asked to write a Patriot Perspective article about technology in the Pequot Lakes School District. The request was for a “who’s who and what do they do” when it comes to our technology mission and responsibilities. The request seemed simple at first — just list the people and explain what they do. But the more I thought about it, the more difficult the task became. The people were many and the tasks innumerable. I realized just how complex our technology puzzle is and how grateful I am for the efforts of everyone involved.