Letters to the Editor

Technology is important for students' future | Letters | Oct. 29

This November the Bainbridge Island School District is asking the voting public to renew funding for technology. This renewal will continue to fund technology at and below the current level of financial support. The average Bainbridge household will be asked to contribute between $85 and $140 for the next four years.

It is important to renew this levy because the state of Washington does not fund technology in our schools despite having curriculum and testing requirements that necessitate computers. The reason for this disconnect is because the state last instituted definitions of basic education in the 1970s. These definitions apply to student learning and funding for public education today.

While the goals of education may not have dramatically changed in 40 years, the skills which our children need to succeed have. Recent graduates are no longer asked if they can use computers, but are expected to demonstrate technology proficiency.

I am a citizen member of the district’s Technology Advisory Committee. As a father of two district students and technology professional volunteering is my way of contributing to our community conversation of technology in the classroom. As a father and community member at large, I have a vested interest in ensuring our children have access to tools and skill sets that engage them as creative spirits, critical thinkers, and global citizens.

I have a vested interest in ensuring that we employ technology in proactive and deliberate ways that stress ethical and safe use.

I support this levy for one critical reason: on Bainbridge Island technology is driven by curriculum and student learning. District technology is not a collection of toys and gadgets, but orchestrated tools that engage students of all types and abilities in learning. This is an important distinction. In many school districts the tools drive the learning.

To fully realize this vision we need teachers and staff that are powerful and appropriate users of technology, a disciplined approach to asset life cycle management, infrastructure that is robust and flexible, and communication systems that are community systems. These are perpetual investments.

In the 40 years, during in which our basic education definitions have grown stale, technology has become a required component to business, essential in connecting communities local and global, and critical in education. Our students’ world is rapidly changing. A strong foundation in today’s technology better prepares them to adapt, create and innovate in a future world that still has not even been imagined. This leaves the funding of technology in education as a local proposition and local priority.

Scott Weaver, a Wilkes and Woodward dad

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