Commentary

I wish I had …

By From page A5 | April 25, 2012

I’ve spent a lot of time at Oak Ridge High School lately, working on various interesting stories (not trying to finally master geometry).

Every time I walk on campus I’m keenly aware that most student are taller than me, but that’s not what catches most of my attention. What really impresses me are the teachers and administrators who’ve embraced technology that helps student learn. As one teacher put it, students can now gather data fast enough to “see things moving through the air, to see things falling to the floor.”

Principal Steve Wehr and his staff, along with the ORHS Community Foundation, have done an excellent job bringing technology into the classroom. I graduated in 1997 from a Sacramento area high school and I wish I had the computers today’s students use in their classrooms. I wish I had the benefit of online lessons and workshops.

When observing in a classroom I thought, “Wow, this makes learning cool.”

No, I’m not jealous … well, maybe a little.

Don’t worry, you won’t find me on campus sneaking into classes now and then. My distaste for skinny jeans and the bags under my eyes would undoubtedly give me away.

But I do like spending time on campus seeing how technology is helping our future leaders learn. These kids have it made and I hope they appreciate everything they have that 15 years ago was simply unavailable.

Steve and I were both reminiscing about high school recently and I made a comment that I often make about my career choice, saying, “There’s a reason I’m a writer.” That is, math and science were never my strongest subjects.

Maybe I wouldn’t be saying that if I had the benefits of today’s innovative lessons and technology. I might have mastered geometry after all. But rather than think about “what if” I’ll stick to my job and keep sharing our schools’ success stories. I encourage everyone to support technological upgrades in all of our classrooms. They really do make a difference.

Noel Stack

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