Excerpts taken from an essay by former OHS graduate Jordan Peterson, now a freshman at University of Nebraska- Kearney:
It is websites like this that show the true power of what technology can do for learning. The possibilities for the integration of this type of learning into classrooms can not be ignored. Students in a Spanish language class may have a teacher who has never been to a Spanish-speaking country, and textbooks don’t at all teach students how to actually speak a language. At best, textbooks prepare students for a test, and that is not how learning should be.
Computers in the classroom facilitate critical thinking, rather than mindless information memorization. Through the use of computers, students can participate in fun projects that require students to actually understand the information, not just to memorize it. The best example of this is a personal one.
I myself was a member of the 24/7 Learning Initiative project done by O’Neill Public Schools. In my British Literature class, we were studying Beowulf. Rather than memorizing information for a test grade, we all had to do a project with a partner. With our computers, my partner and I had a huge power in our hands to make a great project. The software on our computer allowed us to edit photos, write music, or even make our own movie. We decided to make our own movie and create a modern version of Beowulf. To do this, we had to understand more than just the facts. We had to have a deeper understanding of the plot. We also had to have a deeper understanding of the characters and themes. Through the use of technology, we were able to critically think about what he had learned, and in express it in a way that would not have been possible before. Because of technology in our school, we developed a much deeper understanding of the information, and we had a much more fun learning experience.