The World in Our Pockets
At our fingertips or in our pockets, most of us now have 24/7 access to world-class knowledge and information. Most answers to most questions we can find ourselves, instantly. So what does that do to the actual Library? How should teachers teach in this new environment?
Child by child, at Good Shepherd we harness technology to customize learning for all kinds of learning styles. We get to the same end result—effective learning—via all kinds of unique routes. Much of that uniqueness is funneled through the iPads. The iPads give our teachers a framework through which each child can engage in the same learning in individualized and self-directed ways.
Only found at Good Shepherd, SPARQ is a visionary interpretation of our best and boldest ideas for the way kids learn today and into the future. Along with all the tech muscle is SPARQ’s softer side—the way this space will foster “pliable” learning, learning that is adaptable, collegial, experiential and personally meaningful.
The Anatomy of Autonomy
Our teachers teach autonomy, and give kids the skills to direct their own learning. Provide a support system instead of an instruction manual. We have to do this particularly as we engage in a more technology-rich world, so none of our graduates will be left behind no matter what learning looks like in the future.
Responsibility takes several forms in the digital landscape. The responsibility of making careful choices, in what we choose to innovate and what we decide to leave alone. In how our kids choose between right and wrong, and the unique implications of making bad choices in the World Wide Web. And in why we choose to stress excellent internet etiquette from day one.
Some Things that Technology Can’t Do
Technology at Good Shepherd is required to “play well” with more enduring elements of our curriculum. So the SPARQ space is nestled in next to the fireplace where we have story time, and books are still checked out at the Librarian’s desk. Technological innovations can’t ever replace a pat on the back from Coach at practice, or a gold star on a 100 spelling test, and we wouldn’t want them to.