The growth of the Internet and related technologies is fueling enormous change across our entire society. These technologies have the potential to introduce new ways to encourage education, collaboration and community building, and they introduce a new set of skills that children must master if they are to achieve success in the New Economy.
Technology learning centers play an important role in providing youths with access to technology and technology learning. These centers are all about helping kids learn, communicate and succeed. They often operate within organizations that are easily accessible to the youth and families they serve.
Every center is unique—each pursuing different goals in different communities for children with different needs—but some key factors are common to successful programs. Though every program will have its own guiding principles, we believe the following approaches should be basic to them all:
Incorporate technology wisely to enhance learning.
Technology should enhance learning, not distract from it or overshadow the core mission of promoting youth development.
Emphasize project-oriented, inquiry-based learning.
Learn why the educational philosophy and techniques of inquiry-based learning are particularly well suited to technology learning centers because they inspire exploration.
- Focus on collaboration.
You can build essential teamwork skills into all of your programs and activities and include parents, families and communities in your efforts to help kids achieve.
Thorough planning of your center's structure, goals and mission as well as the learning objectives, curricula and projects of individual classes—is the most important thing you'll do.