Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Our Students and Their Connected World

On Google Maps my parents pointed out to my children recently where they were both born in Europe. The two very small towns were less than 100km from each other, however they lived in two very separate experiences that may as well have been worlds apart. Only after travelling thousands of kilometers to a new land called Canada did they meet and eventually get married. I could see that it was challenging for my own children to understand that they lived
so close together but were yet so far apart.

If I contrast that with a recent LCES event, I come up with some interesting conclusions and observe how much things have changed. Over an internet connection our grade three students joined many others across the country as they met and interacted with Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space as an astronaut. The live event allowed a prominent person to directly interact with students in a very memorable way.

If I want to check out where my parents lived, or what the hotel I am about to book looks like, I can virtually “walk” down the street to take a look. 360 videos, a more recent phenomenon on YouTube, allow you to walk around within a video and look wherever you wish, not only where the camera man chooses to aim the equipment. Surgeons are doing live consults with people who are half a world away. Voice recognition to tell your device to search for information is becoming more than a party gimmick, it is a viable way to use a computer, tablet, or phone.

Here is something that I keep returning to as I notice these changes. Although we as parents and grandparents feel the whiplash of how fast these things change and how it can possibly work, and how different it all is from a world we once knew, for our students there is little remarkable about this technology rich landscape. This is their normal, what they consider their starting point.

We are wise to follow those before us who have faced change and chosen to boldly say “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Training our student’s hearts and minds toward biblical wisdom remains our task and our best way to equip them to live in ways that are faithful in a world increasingly own past experience. I`m thankful for our Christian School who aims to do just that. SJ

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