I recently read an article that was sent to me by a colleague about a school in Virginia replacing hundreds of lockers with charging stations, benches, and white boards.
My immediate thought was “What!? What’s happening to students’ education? Lockers are a necessity!”
But, the more I reflected and researched the situation, the more it makes sense. We are at a place in our society where technology is at an all time high so it is natural that it begins to appear in our education systems. But it isn’t just appearing now. It’s been a hot topic among teachers, students, parents, and administrators alike for years now. I mean, just follow the trend #edtech on Twitter and you’ll see numerous resources and conversations about the pros, cons, and every thing in between.
Educational technology is a great way for educators to connect with their students on a new level. The majority of students now have access to devices in their schools even if they do not have access in their homes. They are so familiar with it that really, if we don’t meet students where they are at, then we don’t reach them at all.
But replacing lockers with outlets? Doesn’t that seem a bit drastic?
Not at all! My school recently had back to school night and of all of the previous students that I have had who came back to visit me, roughly 93% of them brought their school distributed iPad so they could continue to work on their assignments. To me, that is incredible. The majority of the students I saw that night who were in middle school were actually working on their homework. These are kids who almost didn’t make it past 5th grade because they refused to do their work or just kept forgetting it.
I’m not saying that everything should immediately transition to being online, but think about the potential it has to change lives.
As for the locker thing, it seems like a great move for that school district. In the article, it mentions that only 25 students asked to receive a locker our of about 2,000. It also mentions that many students inevitably forget to charge their devices at home so charging their tablet between classes might make the difference between them turning in a completed assignment or receiving a failing grade. And it’s true, as a full grown, (usually) responsible adult I forget to charge my phone, laptop, etc. and then my whole day is thrown off. I rely on technology as well (I love my SmartBoard!) and if it goes down I am scrambling to set my back up plan in motion.
Catering to student needs seems like the absolute right thing to do and if that means
replacing lockers with outlets and benches, then I say onward!
Let us know what you think by posting a comment below!
– Kayla, Staff Writer