This is a perfect opportunity for Canada and its education system to merge with the technology companies that students buy and use their products to unify and be the first technologically advanced based national education system. I believe in both a social reconstruction and an existential philosophical approach for the education systems of Canada. Social reconstructionism is the belief that social issues can be resolved through reconstructing and changing society. Existentialism is the philosophical approach that stresses experiences and maintains that every student’s needs are met to establish their own meaning of existence. Technology can help students and teachers in the five crucial aspects of education: teaching others, knowledge, saving time, efficiency, and leverage—the foundation of our education system today begun in the late 1800s when Canada became a country.
When Canada united in 1867, the British North America Act (BNA Act) was passed. The act that founded Canada when the nation unified was the birth of the school systems we see today. The BNA Act would also be responsible for technology in the classroom. Teachers in Canada would teach through blackboards, textbooks, reading and writing, writing with pencils and then pens to then learning typewriters, from the use of black and white text printers to the colour printing, then advancing to quicker printing with LaserJet tech, and of course the advancements in computing technologies. We are currently experiencing advanced tech in the classroom with things like cloud-based tech, Augmented Reality (A.R.), Virtual Reality (V.R.), Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), 3D printing technology, coding programs for elementary school all the way through to college/university programming. Whether invented a century ago or yesterday, all this technology helps us in many education systems. Tech enables the leverage of the teacher’s skills to help save time well building the knowledge of students as efficiently as possible.
The knowledge one can inquire from our technology is infinite. There are now libraries of information through electronic resources students can access anytime to learn almost anything they choose. I believe the best ideas are trapped in books, and it is the students’ job to find them. I believe a student can gain more knowledge through writing papers than through taking exams. I still remember the experiences that I learned about Jim Carrey writing my first online research paper. The grade 10 English teacher let us write a research paper on a person of our choice. I chose my favourite actor and still remember the hardships he had and has with things like being bullied due to homelessness and later in life battling depression. When a student is experiencing abuse and neglect at home, it can spill out into their school life, leading to bullying, anxiety, depression, and other mental illness.
One in five students deals with some form of mental illness. Children and youth deal with everything from anxiety to depression (which can often lead to suicide/suicidal thoughts), with a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. That is why I believe in the former Italian physician Maria Montessori’s (1870 – 1952) method, a combination of physical exercise and learning materials to develop the student’s skills and knowledge. She believed it could help children’s physical, mental, and spiritual development. That is why we should take that advanced step and introduce mixed martial arts (MMA) as part of the curriculum from grades 1 – 12. The best way to implement MMA is to make it first class as exercise on a developing brain can dramatically lower mental health issues such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. It teaches kids structure, respect, better self-confidence and self-talk, better sleep, and a massive decrease in bullying. MMA would allow students to focus on things they enjoy, like the newest and most remarkable technologies.
As more jobs are lost to artificial intelligence (A.I.) and other hardware and software, the need for better technology and more efficient tech education in classrooms is now more apparent than ever. The people who are in grade school and post-secondary schools are the ones who will need jobs in the future, and the way tech is concerned, it better be them, or it will not be here. As a human right, students should be able to have the best technology available at the time to learn from. It may not happen in a year or two but think of how technology has advanced in just the last ten years. It is amazing that in 2008, Apple took the intuitive to do the three-phase project called The Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow—Today (ACOT²). The first part of the project looked at the development of six “essential design principles” for high schools in the 21st century: social and emotional connections with students, equal access to technology, a culture in creativity and innovation, understanding of 21st-century skills and outcomes, informative assessment, relevant and applied curriculum. In the second part of Apple’s project, they provided online resources based on their six principles to high school students. The third part developed what Apple calls “200 Days for a Lifetime of Success,” a curriculum to set upgrade nine students for success.
Canada is one of few developed countries in which there is no national system of education. I believe this could be an opportunity for Canada along with tech companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon could help build Canada to be the first nation to set up an advanced technological education system ran by not the government but the companies that make the software and hardware we use every day in schools and at home. The big technology corporations use legal loopholes not to pay taxes. This would be the humanitarian thing for them to pay for and set up a new education system. The tech companies would then have proper technology available to teach the students and teachers. The education system could be set up so the student, upon graduating high school, would have the skillset to work for one of these big tech companies. Perhaps the student would create their own company and be next Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak.
During 2020 and a couple of months into 2021 in Canada, I learned that civil rights could be taken away from us. Remember how easily you were and are forced to stay inside and not to see anyone in person besides those living in the household? It may have seemed manageable or even insignificant to some, which is the thinking that leads to the end of societies. I believe more people should be courageous enough to open their eyes, and they will see the world as is—as this environment is not designed for sincerity, you realize. We may struggle if we bring things like sincerity into the situation. The future is literally in your hands right now. Will we program a painless emergence with A.I. and become love robots, or will we take the Terminator-like path and create the artificial intelligence that will end humanity? The answer is love.