Imagine a school ...where walls are virtually transparent as students and teachers share ideas as easily with classmates and colleagues across the world as within their own building ... where learning is dynamic and open ended ... where each student can achieve his or her optimum potential in the way that best suits his or her style of learning.
Imagine a classroom ... where students are the architects of their own learning ... where teachers step down from their podiums to become facilitators, innovators and partners in learning with their students ... where education is stimulating, challenging and fun.
Imagine students .... with the cumulative knowledge of civilization at their fingertips ... who use technology as easily as a pencil or pen ... who follow their own curiosity and imagination to solve intricate problems and devise innovative solutions ... to whom education is a lifelong process which extends far beyond their school years. In the last fifty years man has harnessed the atom, stood on the moon and explored the intricacies of DNA. What continues to face the children of the 21st century will surely be no less astounding.
The school of our imagination can now be a reality. At Passaic County Technical Institute, our vision is to use technology as a tool to open the minds of our students in order that they become active and lifelong participants in their own education. As our students recognize the computer as a viable resource, the physical setup of classrooms and occupational areas must mirror that philosophy. Teachers no longer have to postpone answering questions until the proper materials have been obtained. Through all types of digital media and networks, both within the school and with educational facilities throughout the world, teachers and students will reach out to the worldwide community for input. In much the same way, more and better equipped computer labs, staffed with trained personnel who can assist students in their tasks, can provide an outlet for specific projects.
Changes in the physical setup must be accompanied by a change in mindset as well. All teachers must not only be trained to operate equipment, but to use technology as a means to reach each individual learning personality. The first step is to make teachers comfortable in this sometimes bewildering environment. Teachers will be required to take in house training which will encompass the gamut of technology from primary operations to advanced teaching techniques and philosophy. Each teacher will ultimately become a resource technician and guide, rather than a primary source of information. So too, the library, now a media center, will act as a central staging area for the cumulative technological resources of the educational community. From the media center, information is transmitted via networks to the classroom stations, providing access to even more resources as well as acting as a hub throughout the school. Additionally, all students will have access to unlimited educational opportunities through distance learning technologies and On-Line Learning. Courses formerly passed over due to lack of enrollment will be available utilizing ITV transmissions from schools, colleges and universities throughout the country, consequently allowing students to customize their education in a way impossible in a conventional curriculum. Electronic Learning will also provide students with access to demonstrations and single lectures on specific subjects that will round out their knowledge and keep them up to date in the newest technologies.
Ultimately, we must encourage the development of attitudes and values necessary to live in an age where change occurs exponentially rather than arithmetically. Students and teachers must comprehend the fluidity of change, accepting the fact that the mastery of any particular technological skill, rather than being an end, is merely a basis for the next development. In each classroom and occupational area, emphasis must be placed on problem solving and innovation rather than memorization. Individuals - both students and teachers - must be given the skills to locate, compile and analyze information. Most importantly, students must realize that education is a lifelong process which can take place anywhere and at anytime.
Passaic County Technical Institute has already met and exceeded the state’s current technology goals for schools. PCTI strives to lead the way in the State of New Jersey as a model of technological efficiency. As a technical high school, we at PCTI realize the importance of the role of technology in both the way we learn and earn. Our Mission Statement reflects this vision.