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Reader's view: School building improvements needed

As a teacher, parent and volunteer in Duluth schools, I'm thrilled to finally see actual signs of building improvements. We desperately need the improvements. I've seen students in dilapidated classrooms and crammed into spaces so small, group wo...

As a teacher, parent and volunteer in Duluth schools, I'm thrilled to finally see actual signs of building improvements.

We desperately need the improvements.

I've seen students in dilapidated classrooms and crammed into spaces so small, group work and collaboration were impossible. I've seen inequality in classroom environments with some teachers having permanent, state-of-the-art equipment while others scrambled to find equipment, sometimes finding it being used by others. Teachers, including me, have purchased everything from basic supplies to projectors (this provides a form of SMART board technology) in order to maintain consistency when moving from school to school. This doesn't happen once in a while but on a regular basis in Duluth. I wonder if businesses force their employees to purchase equipment in order to keep up with the pace of the world.

In his book, "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age," George Siemens stated: "One of the most persuasive factors is the shrinking half-life of knowledge. The 'half-life of knowledge' is the time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete. Half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago. The amount of knowledge in the world has doubled in the past 10 years and is doubling every

18 months according to the American Society of Training and Documentation. To combat the shrinking half-life of knowledge, organizations have been forced to develop new methods of deploying instruction."

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Not only is it time to move Duluth forward, Duluth is moving forward. The structures and equipment are being purchased, repaired and updated for today's classroom needs. Let construction move forward and let the time now be used to enhance teacher and student performances in state-of-the-art learning environments through programs that are equal across all schools.

Diane Desotelle

Duluth

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