Teaching emerging technologies to K-12 students today not only prepares them for success as future citizens in the workplace, but also promotes diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Shaun Webrandta CTE teacher in Colorado Springs District 11, shared what this looks like in his classroom in a recent episode of Focus on EDU.
Webrandt, who previously worked as an English teacher, found his way into teaching technology thanks to a misunderstanding.
Webrandt recalls in the episode: “When I opened the job to go from teaching kids about English literature to teaching kids computer science and video game design, I thought, ‘I’ll never have to grade an article again.’” Then, when he started working in the new position, he quickly realized “It’s really hard to make something that doesn’t already exist.”
Throughout the video, Webbrandt shares tidbits of how he did it His students are using emerging technologies Incorporate other subject matter materials to think creatively and solve problems.
Augmented reality tools help students apply skills and knowledge
One of the techniques that Webrandt uses with his students is Microsoft Hololins 2. Within this augmented reality space, students can see virtual objects that are spatially aware and interact with their real environment.
“You can put a virtual hologram on the table top, and it will stay there. If you drop it off the table, it will just turn off as if it were a real thing,” he explained.
In one lesson, using lasers and virtual lenses, it wasn’t long before students used calculus to determine the angles to which rays of light should be redirected. In another case, they used real rulers to measure a life-size replica of the Mars rover that only those with Hololens smart glasses can see.
Watch the full episode Learn more about emerging technology in the K-12 classroom.
Wybrant’s goal in class projects is not to teach students the math or science skills they will need, but rather to do so Teach them to become educated.
“I still don’t know calculus,” he said, “but I don’t need to.” “My job is to help students understand that the calculus that you learn in math class, we can apply that in real ways.”
Emerging technology challenges traditional barriers to equity and access
In addition to empowering students to be stewards of their own learning, introducing emerging technologies into K-12 classrooms as well. It gives students more equitable opportunities in the future Thanks to the technical skills they acquire.
“The longer we delay giving them access and opportunities to learn those skills, the longer it will take them to get into the field,” Webrandt said. “By the time they get into the field and realize that’s what they want to do, some things will have already been done…maybe they have been done by people who have always done things throughout history. But software is only made by people who know how to software making.”
Giving students access to this technology and the opportunity to learn these skills Creates a more equitable and diverse workplace.
Another benefit of working with advanced technologies is that it removes barriers that may have existed in the past. Webrandt shared how, while giving a presentation in New Jersey, one of his students in Colorado was able to participate because technology connected the presenters in real time.
Breaking down these barriers will allow people who may not have had the opportunity in the past to work with others around the world to solve problems and share experiences.
“It will have a huge impact on our lives,” he said. “The earlier we make children understand what such things look like and how they work, the more likely they are to see themselves in those places in their future.”