While technology in classrooms has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, we must not forget that technology doesn’t replace teachers. Today is national Teacher Appreciation Day, a day where we celebrate all the hardworking, dedicated teachers and recognize all that they do to prepare the next generation, including welcoming new technology to help advance their efforts into their classrooms. Each day, teachers are finding more ways to embrace technology, and it’s making them more efficient than ever and students benefit from it.
During my early learning experiences, one of my teachers challenged me to ‘own my learning journey’ and to take charge of what and how I would demonstrate my mastering of knowledge. That teacher not only challenged me, but mentored and coached me through the process, guiding me through the aspects of what tools and sources of information I can use to accomplish the task. That experience profoundly changed the way I would approach learning from then on.
Dell works closely with schools and teachers, serving 10,500 schools, 295,000 classrooms and nearly 6.8 million students globally, to make sure that they have the right tools and devices to help students learn and get them more engaged. From 1:1 initiatives for personalized learning to IT infrastructures that help schools be more efficient and save money, our portfolio is designed to help with end-to-end needs to enhance learning environments today and help make them future-ready for tomorrow.
One of the schools we work with, J. Sterling Morton West High, appointed Dell Latitude Laptops among its 2,100 freshman students, providing them with personalized learning tools and valuable experience with applications such as the Microsoft Office Suite. Lori Hall, an English Teacher at J. Sterling Morton West High explained just how big of a difference they have made.
“Before in the classroom, I was limited with what I could do with my students and now with the laptops it gives us that instant feedback, reflection and a learning experience,” said Lori. “It helps me to direct my instruction and see where I need to improve and enrich students in other ways.”
In addition to devices, we also recognize the importance of helping our teachers become knowledgeable on technology and trends.
In June of last year, we introduced the new Dell Teaching and Learning Academy Certification Program that aims to support instructors in improving the quality of technology integration with innovative instructional strategies and expand learning opportunities for all students. The program starts with a comprehensive needs assessment and creates customized professional learning programs for schools and districts based on their existing skills, technology usage, priority subject areas and grade levels. Professional learning plans then combine professional development, one-on-one instruction, coaching and modeling, and sharing sessions enabling teachers and district administrators to better integrate technology into teaching and learning.
We will continue to make strides in the classroom with new developments in our technology, but will always need the help of teachers to implement them. Teachers play an important role in getting students excited about owning their own learning journeys with new technology in the classrooms and an even more important role in helping students get the learning experiences they need to discover their full potential.
Technology is an enabler of more personalized and individualized learning as resources continue to be limited and classrooms continue to grow. We can introduce the best innovation and promote learning that is student centered, but teachers are still critical.
So to all the teachers out there, we thank you.