A century ago John Dewey stated, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
Known as the “father of the progressive education movement” in America, John Dewey recognized the importance of educating the whole child and not focusing solely on the teaching of rote skills. He argued that education needed to adopt new instructional approaches based on future societal needs and respond to changing employment requirements.
As we continue to forge ahead into the twenty-first century, modern technologies have made John Dewey’s dream a reality. As the United States struggles to compete in a global economy deeply rooted in the use of technology to collaborate and work in a team structure to solve problems, the need for our schools to reform instructional strategies to help secure our children’s future has become a necessity. Modern technology allows students to access information, learn in new ways, and develop the twenty-first century skills that are necessary to become successful members of society. Recent studies indicate that the ability to appropriately use technology to access information, to critically think and problem solve, and to effectively communicate with others are some of the most desirable skills in today’s workforce, even more than knowledge in a particular field of study.
The Catholic Academy of Sussex County is committed to fulfilling the needs of the twenty-first century learner. Our research into one-to-one computing has led us to the decision to implement a “Bring Your Own iPad” strategy within our middle and high schools. Students are required to purchase and maintain their own iPads for educational purposes beginning in grade 5. This allows our teachers to leverage the on-line educational programs that are available and begin to foster twenty-first century pedagogies.