Monday, April 28, 2008

Technology Is The Future...

The Clear Lake Courier ran an article regarding South Dakota’s ranking as 2nd in the nation for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. I was instantly curious and began to read the rest of the article. Upon further reading, one can see the text describes South Dakota’s ranking as 2nd in its efforts to improve STEM education.

The rankings are based on three criteria:
Student access to technology (SD receives an A)
Use of technology in teaching students in the classrooms (SD receives an A-)
The capacity for use of technology (SD receives a B)

It looks like South Dakota is making significant efforts at providing the resources, but we must make a push to develop our capacity to actually use the technology by employing them strategically (in other words, we cannot settle for a B). Playing the game in the knowledge economy requires technological skills and advancement for everyday use in the workplace. This becomes imperative if we wish to increase the numbers of engineers and scientists within state borders.

We must also capitalize on the use of technology for our rural areas. No longer do students need to be bussed into a central location to receive classroom instruction. Technology can and will replace proximity. Rural schools can have the same access to educational materials as the larger school districts in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Appropriate and creative implementation and use of technology in our school system will enable the struggling schools districts across South Dakota to keep quality education in the classrooms.

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