The Persistent Kid with a Computer

“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” I believe that this quote from John Dewey perfectly embodies what technology should and can be for the children of today and tomorrow. As a kid growing up in the early twentieth century, I was right in the middle of the latest technological revolution. Whether we like it or not technology is a vital part of all of our lives, and we must adapt not only our day to day lives, but also our education. If you look at a picture of a school room from the eighteen hundreds and then one from today, you would be disappointed at the differences – as there are none. I see this as the main issue of our society today. The world is such a different place from when our grandparents or even our parents lived and we need to readjust.
I would like to lead with another quote from Albert Einstein, in which he said ‘if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This quote, however simplified, is a perfect example of our society’s views on education. The issue is that we are no longer a supply engine for factories, so our students no longer need the excessive pounding of following directions that kill creativity. We now live in a place where a student can pursue their dreams and make a living in millions of ways. This is all thanks to technology. It Is wild to imagine that in only 50 years, we went from getting to the moon with 2048 words of memory that weighed seventy pounds to a phone that can have a terabyte of storage in your pocket. I believe that this impact on children is often overlooked. From the time we are born we are surrounded by phones and cameras, and often are using them at ages as young as two. Then why has our education system not updated our learning habits to account for this? Well in the end it is up to the world to change, and schools must change with it If they want to survive. Technology gives students the freedom to choose their path as schooling is no longer the main option. In a world where kids are making millions of dollars from playing video games and making videos, it is easy to see that our school system is falling behind.
One recent update to our school system which had a major impact and will continue to impact millions of kids every year was covid-19. This virus scared the school system and they shut down, but as STEM minded people do, we rose up and changed our education system out of necessity. The online education system which was once considered taboo was now the normal and students rose to the challenge and thrived. This is one of the great impacts of technology – accessibility. This stems even further than the classroom though. Accessibility is a huge benefit of technology; kids no longer have to wait to see grandma or their friends as they are always one button away. There is however some downsides to this, as covid has pushed us all father apart, technology has kept us close. However, as a young child growing up in this environment it is easy to see how they would prefer to use online resources instead of in person, which in the end pushes us towards seclusion.
The next major impact that technology will have on the kids of today and tomorrow is opportunity. Technology opens the doors for millions of students who have previously been stuck in their current situation. Music is no longer only accessible to those with label deals as kids can make great music right now on their phones. Children with the dream of athletics no longer have to rely on huge schools to get them attention as technology allows them to put themselves on the map with their skill and not their fame. Scholarships are now not only for the ultra-intelligent but for everyone, thanks to technology. In the end, if a child has a dream, technology can bring them there.
A perfect example is a personal case. I was a middle schooler in a small town where engineering was placed far behind football and baseball. I had watched Battle Bots on television for years and thought it would be so cool to create my own robots, so I went to my teacher and asked if we could start a club. However, as the budget was focused elsewhere, we could not afford it. So I went online and reached out to companies surrounding my area for funding and with a lot of effort, heart, and with the help of technology I was given the opportunity to start the Blanchard Robotics Team. This is the reason today that I am studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as I hope to give others the ability to follow their dreams with technology, just like that persistent kid with a computer.

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