Exploring Public Perception AND News Media Connections Essay Example
This paper is about a story on innovation initiative in Toronto District School that I was recently employed in. The paper employs the journalistic skills to create a story that would build an impression for the school. As the saying goes it there is only one opportunity to make the first impression. This paper hopes to build that first good impression through the story. The paper would also indicate the connection that exists between the press, a school and the community. In addition it explores the school and community relations (McLeod, 2000, p. 21).
Press brings a link between the public organizations and institutions and the public. Through press the community is able to know what is going on in the public institutions for instance schools. The press therefore always looks for trustworthy source in the schools to feed them with authentic and accurate information. This is the main way that they can easily access information from the schools.
However, many of the schools managements today have acknowledged the fact that schools cannot stand alone in the efforts of equipping the students. The schools therefore have a mandate of closely working with the community to achieve its mutual goals (Taylor, 2004, p. 13). Studies have shown that schools can offer support for staff, families and students if only they are an integral part of the community. On the other hand agencies would be in a position to make its service available to the students and families through linking with schools (Kleinbard, 2005, p. 67). In addition there is need for an effective and appropriate school-community partnership to interconnect various strategies and resources to make sure that communities support students and their families. This would improve schools; reduce the problems facing students (Moore, 2011, p. 58). And strengthen the neighborhoods. The partnership may include collaborative fund raising, sharing of equipments using of school facilities by the communities among many other aspects.
Recently, Toronto District School, have sought to transform its learning activities and to fit the changing environment. The school administration in conjunction with the school’s board has resolved to initiate a laptop project for the entire school. The decision has been informed by the fact that the world is rapidly changing and advancing in technology. Indeed very many institutions, organizations, businesses and government are moving into digitizing their activities. According to the school’s principal, the decision to have laptops for the students was informed by a study they conducted to determine the necessity of digital skill among students. In addition, the principal stated that the project would digitize the entire community. The school’s governing board have already approved the project and allocated the funds towards the same course. According to the principle the project will also be funded by grant from well-wishers and general fund monies. Some of the grants will come from the agencies within the community surrounding the school such as Digital Education Society.
The project according to the IT department of Toronto District School is split into 3 phases. This is because not all students would use the same types of laptops. According to Mr. Tony, the department’s head, the lower grade students require special laptops, for instances, in terms of weight and software that it has. He adds that, as the students grade increases the expertise in using laptops increases hence the need to use more sophisticated laptops. The middle grade students and the upper grade students would use more or less the same laptops but there software installed would be different in terms of complexity. The first face which is expected to kick off this year would be purchasing special laptops for the lower grade students. This would be accompanied with special training for the teachers responsible for these classes. The second phase of the project will be rolled in the next financial year while the last phase would follow in the subsequent year. At the end of the entire project every student would have received an extension cable, a laptop bag, a MacBook and a laptop. “This project would receive a boost if only all the students’ homes are connected to an internet access” said Mr. Tony.The department of curriculum development has developed a plan whereby of the teachers notes will be directly sent to the laptop. The students are also expected to keep their notes in the laptop. The class exercises and homework will also be done in the laptop. Nevertheless due to the issues with copyright not all text books will be on the laptop though the school management is working on a framework to get the necessary rights from the individual companies and authors of various groups. In addition it is important to note that, the curriculum department did find it necessary to exempt some of the subjects such as mathematics and English from full digitization. This is to ensure that students have an opportunity to learn and put into practice best handwriting.
Laptops are expected to build the expertise of the students in handling of digital devices as well as digital information. This would give them an added advantage in a competitive digital world. Further, the laptops are expected to provide a better learning environment where by teachers can easily provide materials required for students to experience and practice critical thinking. Further the parents are expected to undergo a training funded by the school on the use of the laptops. This is to ensure that, in spite of the digitization of learning activities parent also can be of assistance to their children. In addition the students results will be frequently posted directly on the laptop, hence parents ought to understand how to use these devices to access them. The training program will also be opened to the community member who will be interested, though through proper registration with the school administration.
The project has received a positive reception from all the stakeholders. Some of the students, teachers and parents who were interviewed in regard to the project applauded the move. Mr. Roberts a teacher with the History department said, “This is a great move since, it would not only make learning interesting but would also increase the level of learning resources available for learning most precisely for History.” One of the students had this to say, “Learning how to use a computer and using it on daily basis would build our skill in it, to prepare us for the actual would full of computers.” Lastly, one of the students’ parent applauded the project, saying that it would not only improve the results of their children but will adequately prepare them for the job market at a tender age. On the other hand critics have termed the project an ambitious one. However the principal have answered them with one sentence,” Watch the space.”
Moore H. M. and Bagin H. D. (2011). The School and Community Relations. New York: Pearson.
McLeod, J. (2000). "Local School board: From Corruption to Communism". Canada Free Press.
Taylor, H. Jr. (2004). Connecting Community Development and Public School Reform. Columbus Ohio: The Ohio State University
Kleinbard, P. (2005) The New York City Beacons: Rebuilding Communities of Support in Urban Neighborhoods. New Directions for Youth Development