It seems you can’t escape today’s constantly evolving technological platforms and the resulting data deluge from their use. Whether we’re using a smartphone, or a sophisticated piece of scientific instrumentation, the storage capacity and price continues to rise with increasing demand for productivity (tech and commercial needs) and connectivity (social media). Does this mean we’re overwhelmed? tuned-in? or stressed-out from all these tools at our fingertips?
“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” —Joseph Priestley
Perhaps some aspects of this are true. Yet, the more tools we create and utilize, the more we increase the need for meaningful relationships and real communication. This calls for integrating different technological platforms across fields such as science, music and art.
How can we accomplish this?
- STEM to STEAM approaches more info
If you’re not familiar with the acronyms being tossed around, you’re more than likely to understand that STEM is used in the sciences to describe Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In the United States, students are being encouraged to pursue their interests that fall within the STEM disciplines. STEM education initiatives have replaced the “no-child-left-behind” policy of our former President predecessor.
In addition to science and technology education reaching the forefront of educational policies and teaching efforts, the arts have entered the picture to produce STEAM. In reality, no separate discipline deserves to be excluded from the educational curriculum. As an educator myself, I’m very pleased to see these approaches.
So, this is one example of how technology can serve as a tool to interface between disciplines. There are other less concrete but “teachable” approaches we can use:
- Authentic conversations
- Encouraging dialog through writing
- Fostering positive models of professional success
- Providing leadership opportunities
What I hope to see emerge from the focus on technology and interdisciplinary education is a more authentic conversation. Despite having intelligent devices at our fingertips, the need for intelligence, creative and critical thinking to apply our knowledge is growing more and more. We need to encourage face to face dialog and peer interactions in classrooms and public spaces. Let’s use the creative thinking power of people and the efficiency of technology to drive the next level of leadership in our society.
full STEAM ahead!