Ask Shaygan Kheradpir his thoughts on technology in the classroom and he’ll tell you the future is digital. To encourage forward-thinking, cutting-edge innovation you have to start young. Today’s teens are digital natives, and chances are they’re more technologically advanced than you. Imagine the opportunities available when you enhance a child’s education at a young age.
Few people know that Bill Gates of Microsoft started programming as an eighth-grader to beat boredom. Those futile archaic computer terminals became the catalysts for Microsoft. What if parents advocated access to technology back then? Fast-forward to today and it’s clear why Shaygan Kheradpir is an advocate for digital classrooms.
Breaking Barriers with Online Technology
With the click of a mouse, children with a passion for learning have the ability to knock down barriers imposed by income, distance or class offerings. That innovation has been propelled in part by former Verizon executive, Shaygan Kheradpir. Kheradpir and a staff of 7000 launched Verizon FIOS, which enabled access to internet at breakneck speeds. The business maverick also slashed overhead costs, improved automated services, and implemented a new system for rapid deployment of new Verizon initiatives. Considered one of the most significant figures in the evolution of technology, Shaygan Kheradpir catapulted Verizon to the head of the line for telecommunications services.
Expanding technology into education brings a number of benefits that not only helps to improve efficiency and productivity in the classroom, but also boosts the interest of children in academic activities. Technology in today’s educational setting allows the use of more interactive tools that can easily keep students attention.
In addition, social networks and other forums motivate kids to share views and discuss ideas, which helps children develop critical thinking. Interactive boards, virtual classrooms, and a host of electronic resources are in place to encourage students to express themselves, and interact with others, either in person or online. Another advantage of using technology in the classroom is its flexibility and adaptability, which allows students to continue their learning at a different pace.
Can Your Child Code Yet
A global educational trend right now is to teach a basic programming language to children starting at the young age of five. And forget those old computer lessons with perplexing protocols because initiatives like code.org offers children online lessons adapted to different age groups. As our world becomes more technology oriented, educators face not only teaching children to use computers, but also how to build and program them. “The language of the future includes programming and the sooner children begin to explore and learn the better,” says Kheradpir.
Fortunately, the online arena offers a number of resources to learn programming for students from K-12, in addition to resources for teachers:
- Lego Mindstorms – easy environment to program robots
- Scratch – a graphical programming language for children 8 and older, created by the MIT Media Lab
- Tynker – create everything from games to animated films
And there are dozens more websites ranging from easy to more complex programming lessons.
There are many reasons for wanting to teach our children programming and advance their learning in digital technology, but none is more pressing than preparing them for a technologically-oriented future.