From floppy disks to the cloud - the sky is the limit!

Michelle Dean – Secretary, Technology for Learning Department – As someone who attended school through the 80’s and 90’s, I have witnessed the advancement of technologies in the classroom. I can remember my elementary teachers using chalk and blackboards, along with overhead and film projectors. In junior high, blackboards were upgraded to whiteboards and in senior high we were elated to have the Internet in our computer labs. We had the world at our fingertips, researching topics for projects in every subject, no longer having to thumb through encyclopedias in the library risking painful papercuts.

There is no denying that digital tools in the classroom are crucial in preparing students for the technology-based future that the world is embracing at breakneck speeds. That’s why it’s more important than ever that technology planning is a priority for Rocky View Schools (RVS) going into the new Four Year Plan.

Today, classroom technology is on a whole new level for my daughter. There are smartboards, Apple TV’s, iPads, laptop carts and multiple online learning platforms and portfolios that she has access to. In the 90’s, we had Tamagotchi to play with and we drove our teachers crazy with them. Now there’s robotics academies where budding young coders and inventors can hone their skills and craft. RVS is continually on the forefront of innovative technology implementations that allow teachers and students to engage in real-world, hands-on learning experiences.

Having the world at their fingertips enables children to connect with their passions and interests, and they are more engaged and supported because of this. Students can connect with experts and peers within their community, country and beyond, whereas in my day, we had pen pals. I can’t help but wonder if I would have taken a different career path, had I had access to a graphics arts class when I was in school. Maybe today I would be working as an animator at Disney Pixar Studios! 

What impact will the availability of all this technology have on my daughter’s future career path? She loves writing so maybe she’ll be a professional blogger or build her own media empire! With her drive to help people, maybe she’ll work in the Learning Supports realm with students and assistive technologies. No matter what field she choses to focus on, I have no doubt that the technology in classrooms will play a role in helping her discover her passions and reach her goals.