Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
Educators and parents agree that purposeful and appropriate use of technology is terrific for both students and teachers. The use of technology, including personal devices, can be very helpful in supporting implementation of Common Core State Standards for all students. It prepares our students for the future, and will equip them to compete on a global level.
This month, I attended a conference about effective use of technology in the classroom. It was informative and exciting, and showed me various ways technology can engage and enhance student learning.
Yet here’s the paradox:
• According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of our nation’s schools is 42 years old!
• Even with updates over the years, the majority of these facilities don’t have the infrastructure to support today’s technological advances.
• The bottom line is that many of our schools are just not equipped for modern technology.
As an educator, I’ve been a firsthand witness to this:
• Excited students are ready to jump into a great science lesson, only to find that the computer can’t log on.
• Twenty-five curious 1st graders huddled around one small computer screen to see and hear humpback whales, because the image can’t be projected.
• An interactive whiteboard math game crashes, just as students are about to solve the math problem.
We need to vastly upgrade our school facilities, sooner rather than later. This is very important. The time from kindergarten to 12th grade, 13 years of your child’s educational life, should be spent in buildings that support 21st century learning.