Megabyte, torrent, and flash drive are just a few words invented over the last two decades. Not only has the world seen a great technological shift, but a new generation has been born—one that is completely digital. Smart phones, social networking, and video games are essential to the everyday survival of the “born digital” generation (Deffenbaugh 381). With school systems that are falling behind the times, students are struggling to learn in the environment that taught so many, ten or so years ago (Schott 1). New jobs are constantly being created in growing technology fields, and students must have a technological aspect introduced into their classrooms, with successful experiences, so they will be ready to graduate and fill them. This
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Educators, unfamiliar with it, pretend it is not in the spotlight. This digital age needs to be acknowledged, embraced, and brought to the educational table to produce students that are ready for the world awaiting them after high school. Students do not learn like they did two decades ago, things have changed from the heavy textbooks and dusty chalkboard-driven lectures. Burley, Idaho senior, Hayden Allred, addressed a conference of educators attending the Idaho Instructional Innovation Conference discussing technology in the classroom. He said, “Technology isn’t going away, and it’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives. I can’t go anywhere without my phone now, and it wasn’t like that just a few years ago. Things are changing so fast that you can’t just dust your old textbooks off. We’re used to multi-tasking. We’re used to using things on our phone. For some of us, it’s hard to pay attention because we just can’t learn from a book anymore. Technology needs to be in student’s hands in the right way so we can use it to progress.” (“Student Hopes to Upgrade…” 1).
While the digital generation, of course, needs the continual focus on reading and writing, a new swing has taken place in the focus on STEM learning. What is STEM? STEM simply stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is focused around critical thinking and problem solving strategies. Studies show that jobs in STEM fields will become the fastest-growing and