Came across this inspiring response on Facebook from a friend and educator, Shelly Terrell. Thought this might inspire others. How would you answer this question? Do you agree with Shelly's response?
Big thanks to Shelly (@ShellTerrell) for letting us post this.
"I was interviewed by an 8th grader today. Tough questions. Hope I make an impact. I felt 8th grade is a good time to be real. Here's one question I answered.
4) Do you think less kids would drop out of high school if technology was used?
Technology isn’t a cure all and definitely not for teens dropping out. What is more crucial is the relationship between the school, community, teachers, parents, and students. We all have something within us that makes us “tick.” We all have a purpose, interests, curiosities, and passion. Some of us are blessed to know this as soon as we are born or at a young age and we have family and friends who support us from the beginning. Most of us, however, take awhile to find what it is that makes us “tick.” Sometimes, when we do make this discovery we have already heard so many negative messages or had negative seeds planted in us that we don’t believe that dream is possible, but some form of it is always possible. The problem is that schools tend to be part of the negative messages versus being part of the student’s process of finding how to make that dream possible. Standardized testing that doesn’t teach any form of valuable learning adds to this problem. Students see they have low scores and are punished for them and they believe they are not smart enough.
Students who drop out of high school do so because they are not supported in finding what makes them “tick.” They find that school does not match their passions, interests, and experience. They don’t make a connection with what they are learning. They don’t feel excited about learning. Technology could make them excited and gives them the opportunity to learn in spite of school. Any student who gets a negative message from the school or teachers can decide to learn via technology. For example, if the student wants to be a chef, they can join online chef communities, learn recipes through Youtube, tweet famous chefs, join a cooking open online course, etc. When applying to the culinary academies the student shows all the online learning and projects they were involved in. They show their self-directed learning and colleges are impressed by this. It’s above and beyond and shows passion for a subject.
I encourage learners to get a high school diploma. It’s important and will make life very difficult without one. However, if you do not find the support you need then be brave enough to also learn outside the school and pursue that dream. Life is already difficult and it’s shorter than you think. You might as well go after your dreams because some day they find you and when they do you will understand what it is to truly live."