Welcome to the new school year! Our Kindergarten to Grade Nine (Home) division is bursting at the seams and for the first time ever, we have had to close or restrict enrollment to very select regions of British Columbia. We are 10% larger now than when we finished the last school year. Praise God for the challenges and opportunities this presents. Thank you for choosing TLA to partner with you in this enterprise called education.
Speaking of partnership, consider with me a moment the weekly log system. For a weekly log, you the parent fill out a summary of what happened in the home learning environment through the week and send it off to the supervising teacher. The teacher reads the summary and makes some kind of comment back to you. Both of you work in isolation. I want to encourage you, the parents, the teachers, and the students to enter into a dynamic and living relationship using old and new technology that hinges on weekly dialogue initiated by any member of the relationship. Google Hangouts and Skype can be used for video calls, the new Student Learning Plans can hold all those comments and links to student work, digital pictures and video help share those captured moments, blogging spices up any summary, texting allows for near-instant responses, and old-school phone calls and emails and weekly summaries in the teacher’s homespace still have their place. Don’t limit yourself to just one system when a wealth of diversity exists.
Some of us fear the invasion of technology into our daily life. I think a simple rule-of-thumb is to use technology without being used by technology. If the devices and systems free you up to do more of what you want to do and need to do, you are using them well. If you find you can’t get to your hobbies, find out what is taking all your time and make some changes. God made man with two purposes – to glorify Him and to enjoy Him. Whatever your beliefs, this life was designed to have some joy in it. My hope and prayer for all of us this year is that joy may abound – and a dynamic partnership is a good first step to increasing joy in your educational pursuits. I’d enjoy hearing how you use your tech to that purpose.