Preparing Students for the 21st Century Through Travel

Think back. Way back. No, even further back than that. Think back to when you were a student, say, middle or high school. Unless you’re a very new educator (and welcome to the profession if you are), chances are your education then was remarkably different from the education your students are getting today. Perhaps not in content, but certainly in delivery.

High-tech computer labs, ActiveBoards, document cameras, iPod Touches and iPads...these didn’t exist when I was in school, lo those many years ago. And yet many students cannot imagine school without these technologies. I’m typing this post on a state-of-the-art laptop that will likely be obsolete in five years, and make calls on a smartphone that has more computing power than what was used to put a man on the moon. Imagine what our students’ kids will have at their disposal.

So what does this have to do with travel, one might ask?

We are preparing today’s students for futures we can’t imagine, for careers that don’t yet exist. Imagine someone telling you ten years ago she was an iPhone app developer. I’m fairly confident a lively conversation would have ensued, as those words weren’t yet in our lexicon. Our students are poised to continue this rapid societal and technological growth, and it’s our job to prepare them for that future.

Student group travel provides our kids with fresh perspective, with new situations to navigate, with experiences that can alter the course of their lives. It gives them a chance to see the future with fresh eyes, away from the routine of “the lesson of the day.” We never know what spark might grab a student to propel him or her forward, or where that spark might originate. Travel can encourage that spark.

In this rapidly changing and shrinking world, exposing our students to a variety of new experiences and opportunities has become a priority for their growth and education. Adding a dose of educational travel is a fresh way to prepare our kids for the future they are going build.

Posted By Jen Merrill

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