Kids today are hyper-connected to technology, from texting and communicating on social media to downloading interactive apps and playing games like Pokémon Go. As a father and educator, I am impressed by how easily grade-school students as young as kindergarten can use a mouse, browse the Internet and even make friends with children across the globe.
You could say technology comes second nature to them. And, just as home entertainment has evolved from the TV set to the Internet, so too has learning, progressing from the chalkboard to the computer screen, even for little ones.
On Aug. 8, parents in New Mexico were given a new school option for their young learners with the opening of Pecos Connections Academy (PCA), a tuition-free, online public school serving students statewide in grades K-8. It became the state’s first and only online school serving students in grades K-3.
The school’s focus will be on early literacy, with work on interpretation and comprehension through the humanities while providing electives in the arts. It’s a big step for the state and for New Mexico families, as we are learning that children of all ages can thrive in a virtual school setting.