On Tuesday of this week, the power went out at Memoria Press and at Highlands Latin School, where the press offices are located. Through the amazing ingenuity of several people, including Paul Schaeffer, we got by on partial power.
The school classrooms at HLS. however, were completely without power, yet school went on. Teachers and students were able to do virtually everything they would normally be able to do. It helped that our classrooms are well lighted with windows, preventing students (particularly on a sunny day) from working in the dark.
In today’s education world, which employs more and more technology, much of it unnecessary to student learning, it would be hard to operate without electricity. Indeed some school classrooms are more dependent on the technology than on the teacher or the texts.
In fact, the word “texts” no longer means the books that a student reads in school. In many schools today there are no books. The words “texts” now means what students do when they are not reading books.
In some schools teachers have largely been replaced by technology, or have been reduced to walking around the classroom monitoring students working on computer terminals. A power outage in such a case would be an education outage.
At Highlands, where technology is held to a bare minimum, that is not the case. And, in fact, the day-long inconvenience helped me to formulate a principle of education technology in schools. Here it is: If, in your school, a power outage would prevent you from carrying on the work of educating students in a fairly normal way, then you are probably too reliant on technology.
Think about it.