MIMS — This is an edited version of Melbourne High School student Emily Kearns’ essay, this year’s winner at the Annual Moore Heritage Festival of the Arts & Humanitites:
The most striking aspect of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore’s legacy has to be the persistence with which they pursued equal rights for teachers and students during a period in history when their noble actions were met with violence. Today, the employment of technology to ensure educational equality for all American teachers and students would be an appropriate method for honoring the struggle for which the Moore's were so passionate.
The Internet provides users with millions of volumes of usable information within seconds. Seeing as 77 percent of Americans have access to the Internet, it is prudent that we maximize the potential it has for educational purposes. If educators can have the ability to teach students how to use the Internet for purposes other than entertainment, the gaps that still remain in our educational system may be bridged to create equality for all schools, teachers, and students.
According to the Institute of Education Sciences, an amazing 100 percent of American public schools have at least one instructional computer. Although this is true, it is important to recognize that the playing field is not level in the American educational system. Rural schools can be miles from the nearest library or college for resource usage. Similarly, urban schools may have issues monetarily, which bar them from buying the best equipment.
These problems may find a remedy in the utilization of the Internet, now that it has become so available. With the right tools, an educator can supplement the curriculum taught at underprivileged schools with the wealth of resources to be found online. Online databases such as the Gale Virtual Reference Library and Academic Search Elite have worked to do this very thing by providing mountains of easily accessible assets to schools, rich or poor.
To expand on this topic, students can now contact professors at
universities and professionals in their job place to discuss questions the student may have about the specific subject through online resources such as www.VoicesofYouth.org. This resource is essential to inspiring passion in a student through one on one communication with those who know most about their area of interest. The use of technology shows promise in aiding underprivileged students and areas. An educator who can open a student's eyes to online databases, books, and references can help the child see the internet as a tool rather than a distraction. Video resources are also invaluable to the educational system because they capture the attention of the modern student who is most accustomed to visual learning.
Youtube does not have to be the bain of the educational system any longer; schools can earmark certain areas of the Internet which may be helpful to the teacher who does not have available physical resources for the class to learn from.
By tailoring courses and curriculum to utilize technology both in positive and in economically efficient manners, schools no longer have to compromise the education they give to their students for their budget. Online textbooks allow students to have all of their materials at their home without the need for an extra class set of textbooks which could dramatically decrease the cost of learning. The problem of unequal education should not be reduced to insufficient funding. Efforts should be made by all schools to find business sponsors in their area that can fund these new advances in technology which would give their school the same advantages as other schools nationwide.
Allowing ourselves to see the use of technology in schools as unattainable, due to limited funding, or inappropriate, due to common misuse, only inhibits the potential that all schools, teachers, and students have. No matter where, what size, the ethnicity of the students, or the economic status, the goal of all schools is to give the best education possible to students.
As a society, we count on schools to elevate our children by allowing them to reach their full potential and attain the goals that once seemed too ambitious. Societal barriers that linger between races, economic classes, genders, and so forth can be torn down with the right tools. The internet and other forms of useful technology can be used to patch the holes in our community, but only if we think creatively and employ the same tireless effort that the Moore's did to promote equality in the school system. Thank you.
Photo: C.B. HANIF/South Florida Times
Evangeline Moore, surviving daughter of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, recognized as America’s first civil-rights martyrs, congratulated Emily Kearns of Melbourne High School, this year’s Moore Essay Contest winner, during the 9th Annual Moore Heritage Festival Gala Awards Banquet on April 20.