Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned compared to current middle and high school students, but after learning that programs would be replaced with the option of "virtual high school classes" or even just completely taken away I think I'm going to state my opinion... Even if no one asked for it.
Let's face it, the biggest struggle with today's generation isn't war or economic depression. It's the ability to communicate. Wait? Communicate? But it's so easy! We've got the ability to text people all over the world, send out emails, share photographs, post videos, and forget that we are talking to people instead of a screen.
What would it be like if we took away all technology from a class room? Let's say a tornado comes through and knocks the power out of most of Cedartown. Power crews can't get to everything and it'll be at least a week till power is restored down town. Naturally, one would say let's cancel school till power is restored. What if AP exams were to start within two weeks?
Remember, teachers can't post anything online and students can't access anything.
Also, no electronic devices can be recharged.
What would happen if students were actually told to work together on hands on projects? In college, not everything is done on a computer screen. Class debates over paper copies of the New York Times and not being allowed to cite the online copies? Yes, that really did happen this past year.
Text books are heavy. I carried around four text books and countless binders every day in high school.
Guess what, I'm doing the same thing in college. I have an iPad. The amount of educational stuff on it is the bare minimum... actually, the only thing slightly educational on it are the books that I have on ibooks... none of them for a class.
And I still prefer to read a paper book with coffee than on a screen.
Canceling programs though, it's the worst thing that could be done. Programs that allow students to learn critical skills such as marketing so that they can return to Polk County to help the economy and have an idea of future careers. Canceling programs that introduce and take students to places such as Los Angeles, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Orlando, Florida, is like ripping up scholarships. Don't believe me? Colleges love to see students who go to national competitions. Student love meeting the CEOs of Men's Warehouse and Johnson and Johnson Pharmacy. And best of all, the students work for these opportunities.
Canceling the very program that BROUGHT COLLEGES to Cedartown? Can someone please explain to me how that is going to open students' eyes?
Canceling programs that give students the chance to go to Germany? Seriously? Take a minute to look out at the students of Polk County. Look at the socio-economic demographics. How many of them are ever going to get another chance to go to Germany and see a different country?
Yet, maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe I still believe that the best conversations are held face to face away from screens. Maybe I still believe that teachers are meant to teach in a class room. Maybe I still believe that the best way to learn is to be in a hands on situation with text books. Maybe I still believe that technology will never replace having a teacher guide you, having a teacher answer questions, having a teacher work countless hours to explain something till the students explain it, having a teacher sacrifice their time and weekends to provide students with a once in a lifetime experience to discover themselves. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but maybe it's time we all put down our screens and thought if the decisions that we make are going to help or if they are actually killing the very thing that gave students hope of getting out of Cedartown and coming back?