Andy Smith is our campus's Senior Leader - Public Relations and also one of our Learning Resource teachers. As part of the Senior Leadership Team, he contributes to our Thought Leadership blog series each term.
When asked to write about innovation, it seemed that technology was an obvious, maybe even one of the only choices for subject matter - releases of new cars that can drive themselves, the latest iPhone 6s, electric hover boards - the possibilities were endless.
It wasn’t until I was sat in a Cracker Barrel just outside Naperville that suddenly the inspiration came to me. At this point, I know you’re thinking, ‘why on earth was he gaining inspiration over breakfast in the western suburbs?’
Bear with me on this one.
I sat at a table adjacent to a family, a dad and his two sons, who were all completely engrossed by their electronic devices, their faces dimly illuminated by the glow of these ‘innovative’ electronics. It was at this point that the inspiration suddenly hit me.
At this table, there was no conversation, no progress reports about school, no catch up about friends or sports teams, just Candy Crush and Facebook. I thought back to our school and the work that we do to encourage cooperative group work and the endless efforts of our staff to extract comments and opinions from their students. The conversations each morning related to our values curriculum, especially the teachings about respect and valuing each other.
This family was missing all the skills we hold so dearly, as the true culprit in this whole event – the ‘innovative’ technology - was absorbing their attention and barring any quality conversation from occurring.
I urge you as families of the British International School, Lincoln Park, to consider the impact technology has had and will have on your family time, as we continue to strive to create the citizens of tomorrow.