By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service
When children walk into a Defense Department school this year, they may be handed a laptop or electronic reader, or perhaps they’ll be asked to build a robot or try out a simulator on the school lawn.
Technology has long since changed the nation; it’s now time to use these advances to transform its schools, the acting director of the Department of Defense Education Activity said.
“It’s about 21st century learning,” Marilee Fitzgerald said in an interview with American Forces Press Service. “And 21st century learning is infused with technology.”
With new initiatives, state-of-the-art equipment and a student-centered model of education, the education activity is entering a new technology-based era, she said, that’s aimed at energizing and engaging its students.
DOD schools are moving away from an education model that calls for all children to be on the same page, learning the same information, all at the same time, Fitzgerald said, to a model that is about a child’s individual needs and learning styles.
Now, rather than all students being on Page 45 in Chapter 4, they’re divided into learning centers. A visitor to a 1st or 2nd grade room may see children at one table working on writing, and others working on vocabulary or reading at another. And at each table, the students are working at different levels based on their ability and interests.
“It’s a very student-centered approach,” Fitzgerald noted. (more…)