There were a lot of similarities among the presentations given in class last week, mainly on the topics of curriculum and funding. Most groups relied on taxes as the primary source of funding for each of our “21st century” schools. However, our group decided to seek out grants and awards, in addition to the standard means of funding. While we were brainstorming as a group, I suggested considering grants for schools based on my prior experience working with grants as an undergraduate at UMW. I had taken the “Economics of Philanthropy” class, funded by Doris Buffett, which focused my train of thought when it came to funding issues. As a member on the board, I was able to help sort through different grants, choosing which ones were funded. As a class, we decided how much to award each organization, dividing up the yearly grant of $10,000. Grants, such as these, could buy computers for the classroom, or popular literature, to further engage students in the classroom.
Another common theme among the presentations was technology in the classroom. As my group’s “21st century” school’s theme was progressive education, we maintained a focus on technology in the classroom and ways to apply the curriculum in an experiential manner. Other presentations also focused on technology in the classroom, including the use of SMART boards and computers. The use of modern-day technology in the classroom is very important, as it maintains students’ interests in the curriculum. Throughout the Foundations of Education, we have stressed that we cannot teach our students in the same manner that we were taught; we need to branch out and meet the needs of TODAY’S students. It is essential to teach in an engaging manner, whether it is through new technology or by using cooperative groups, such as jigsaw. Many of the presentations did an excellent job of stressing these two main themes that were repeated throughout our class discussions this semester.
Longwood Central School District (2012). Middle School Smartboard Lessons. Retrieved from: http://www.longwood.k12.ny.us/longsmart_ms.html.