Hurricane Katrina was a disaster that the whole world witnessed. In the events following the disaster there were a number of questions about what would replace the old New Orleans and surrounding area. There had been questions about poor housing, poor conditions and the suffering from the disaster of groups who were overwhelmingly represented in the country’s tables of economic and educational disadvantage.
The chance to rebuild from scratch can be seen as an advantage despite the terrible events that led to it…witness for example the rebuilding of war-torn and massively devastated Europe after 1945.
Seeing this video impressed me in that the people of Jefferson Parish Public School System have decided not just to rebuild their schools but also to take their schools into the 21st century so that their children can gain the advantages of technology to aid their learning.The results, so far have been very promising.
I am aware that there are those of a more cynical frame of mind who may say that large companies such as Cisco may not have invested and supported such change without Katrina… but nonetheless this has provided us with an opportunity to see just how much transformation of buildings, input of money to pay for excellent teachers and support staff and last but not least the provision of available technology, can do so much to transform the educational opportunities of the children of Jefferson Parish, near New Orleans, Louisiana.
For those of us who are proponents of the advantages of technology to transform education, we can only be helped in our argument by examples such as this, albeit one that came from very unfortunate circumstances.