Teaching With Technology: Steve Ross

Welcome to Teaching with Technology! This series of guest posts asks educators to share how they integrate technology in their classrooms. These posts are written by a very special group, CK-12 Foundation’s Champions.

Today’s guest post is by Steve Ross. Steve is a Director of Technology at Forest Charter School in Nevada City, CA.

How do you currently integrate technology in your classroom (e.g., products used, devices, etc.)?
I teach blended classes in a High School Technology Academy where students work online and I guide them when necessary. Students are learning game programming, computer animation, graphic design.

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom?
In a rural county, internet access is still an issue. Generally students enjoy working online when they want and where they want. I don’t think in terms of a classroom much as our environment is so unique.

How have your students benefited from technology?
Technology has allowed many students to successfully complete high school and/or give them motivation for learning and looking at careers in technology and college after high school.

If money were no object, what would you like to see happening in your classroom with respect to use of technology?
All students would have modern computers, compelling and stimulating online classes and reliable, fast internet access.

We hear the phrase “21st Century Skills” often with respect to technology and education. What are “21st Century Skills?”
Independent learning, understanding job markets and how to build skills to succeed in those markets. Students need to understand that they will be responsible for training themselves and creating skills and networks that will allow them to succeed. They can no longer rely on schools to train them in acquiring the latest skills.

Describe the “classroom of 2040.” What’s different? What’s the same?
2040, who knows! Can we even say what the classroom of 2020 will look like? All I think we can say for sure is that the pace of change is going to keep accelerating.