In a world where technology is accelerating and changing rapidly, with increasing impact on how we live our lives, we all recognize the importance of preparing students to use technology effectively. Many schools seek to answer this need by exposing students to as much technology as possible within the classroom. However, experience using today’s technology will not equip students to work with tomorrow’s technology, much less allow them to create or lead such technological advancements. Mere familiarity with an iPad will not equip a student to invent the iPad of tomorrow.
Equipping students to utilize tomorrow’s tech depends on developing their ability to acquire new skills rapidly and independently. Classical Christian education has a proven track record of turning out graduates who know how to think critically, learn and integrate new subjects and skills, and communicate persuasively. By teaching them the timeless skills of thinking, reasoning, logic, and expression, these students have learned how to learn. This is the key to leading successfully in the technological future we cannot yet know.
Another popular view of technology in the classroom emphasizes using it to its fullest extent in order to enhance the teaching. This is the tactic of modern, progressive education, based on the underlying evolutionary principle that new is always superior. This is a flawed view used by a broken educational system that has rejected the time-proven classical methods. Technology has become their god. But technology for technology’s sake quickly becomes nothing more than a distraction from true learning. Alan Kay, who is widely associated with the invention of the personal computer, has repeatedly said that any problems the schools cannot solve without computers, they cannot solve with computers.1
At Agape Christi Academy, we seek to utilize technology in its proper context. If it truly improves the students’ ability to “learn how to learn,” or if it genuinely helps them understand and engage more fully with certain subjects, then it has a place in our classrooms — not as a god, but as a tool by which to glorify the one true God.
1 Postman, Neil. The End of Education. 1996. Reed Business Information, Inc.