At the Rutherford Opportunity Center at risk students are being given opportunities to succeed in areas they would otherwise be denied.
On a daily basis students who have never owned their own computer are given the opportunity to work with technology, learning both their daily curriculum as well as valuable life skills. Students classwork is available to them 24 hours a day seven days a week via the online classroom. This proves to be very useful for transient students who may or may not be able to obtain transportation to school on any given day.
In the spirit of the Going Global Initiative educators have partnered together independently to begin providing computers to students in need to allow them to work from home as they work jobs, care for children, and tackle the responsibilities of a full time student.
On any given day at the Rutherford Opportunity Center students will be designing webpages, creating and editing videos, and creating digital presentations. Students make history come alive by creating digital videos and comic books where America’s founding fathers argue about the best way to design a government. The Oregon Trail is vividly remembered as students re-enact the settler’s difficulties through journals plotting out the next stop on their perilous endeavor.
Material that may initially seem foreign to students initially is made more relevant by connections to their own lives. By creating “Facebook” profiles and “Twitter” accounts students gain a first person perspective on some of the most powerful historical figures. Major historical events are linked with film and music and student analyze the connections,drawing a deeper understanding.
Though the glimmer of technology can often replace a true understanding we are striving to use technology as a great equalizer and an efficient tool. As Jean Piaget said "The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done." That is what we strive for here at the Opportunity Center, using technology as a stepping stone and tool for our students.