Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shaping Well-Rounded Youth in a Digital World

This video profile of 14 year old Virginia from Edutopia had multiple impacts on me. First, I was impressed with the balance this young lady is learning as she conducts her life on many fronts: home, church, school, service, and social. And then I was impressed with WHY I believe she is learning that balance - because she has parents who are involved with her and a school and a teacher who see the importance of exposing students to the latest technology tools and teaching them the ethics and safety they need to be responsible digital citizens. I wish this young lady's story were more typical of teens across our country and our globe.

Schools can and should do a lot more to help shape well-rounded citizens like this young lady. I say that knowing it's not as simple as throwing some technology into a classroom and getting the kids up to speed. Even if the money for the purchase and maintenance of the "stuff" was no object, staff development would have to be continuously implemented. Technology coaches and teachers need to be well trained and continuously supported in order to create environments that will nurture more students like Virginia. As I write this, the system I work in is not there - YET. We'll get there. We're already making some baby steps, and we'll get there. It is hard not to be impatient, though, as this New York Times article suggests.

After viewing the video below (it will be a well spent and inspiring seven minutes!), if you want more in depth information about Virginia, her teacher, and her school, you can access it here.

Please post a comment with any thoughts you have after viewing this video!