Why Everyone Should Be Literate in Technology

BRUCE SCHWARTZ, UPPER SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATOR: My phone rang on a recent Sunday morning. It was my 82-year-old father wanting to know the best way to transfer content from his old computer to the new one he had just purchased. He said, “I think I have too much for a USB drive, so should I buy an external hard drive?” “Should I upload everything to the cloud?” “Is there software that makes this easy?” Great questions obviously predicated on prior knowledge.

This is an octogenarian who grew up listening to Orson Welles and Red Skelton on the radio…

Without further inquiry, my father told me that he had 73.5GB and that most of the content was JPEGs and AVI files. Being a Technology Integrator, I could not resist asking if he even knew what a GB is or what JPEG and AVI mean in terms of file types.

This is an octogenarian who grew up listening to Orson Welles and Red Skelton on the radio; a man who has never been particularly interested in math or science or engineering…or, technology. However, this is a man who recognized 12 years ago that computerization was causing the world to change at a faster rate than at any point in his lifetime.

At the age of 70, my father had embraced the use of email and Skype to stay connected with family and friends. He used the World Wide Web to learn about the cancer that my mother was battling. Likewise, he embraced the importance of learning how and why technology works and how it can be used in this rapidly changing world. He is my father, so I may be a bit biased – but that’s pretty darn impressive!

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We are at our best when we are timeless

DAISY SAVAGE, HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL: We humans have an interesting relationship with time. The way we view time and its passage depends very much upon our age. The same is true for our embrace of tradition. For those of us in the business of adolescence, we know that, for them, time can not move fast enough: our young students rush to embrace the newness and challenge of each new stage, in search of both a license to drive and in search of a license to live.

We humans have an interesting relationship with time.

We urge them to slow down, seize the moment, and they scoff and strive forward, pressing hard against the traces of our rules and traditions. They seek their own truth and their own way. Tradition belongs to someone else’s vision… Until suddenly, they see their own legacy in the wake they leave behind. And then the nature of time changes.

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Encouraging Mindful Transitions

DR. ZAN STRUEBING, SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST: Transitions – we experience them continually. Sometimes they happen smoothly and seamlessly; we hardly know they are occurring. In other instances, they are rocky, disruptive, and the cause of utter discontent.

If you have the sense of being a little “off,” chances are, once you pause to reflect, you’ll have that “aha” moment that you are in the throes of a transition. Even as I write, I am still basking in the glow of a lovely trip that allowed me to spend time with my daughter in Chicago. I am left with the task of adapting once again to day-to-day life without her. Ah yes, transitioning again.

Students may not have access to the same coping strategies that adults have developed with time and experience.

For our children, transitions are no less significant. Students, though, may not have access to the same coping strategies that adults have developed with time and experience. As we watch a group of students transitioning from home to school, from one class to another, or from unstructured to structured activities, it is strikingly apparent that some children transition more fluidly than others.

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