Miami Union Academy Goes Virtual

By: Robert Henley, Southeastern Conference
Date: 09/11/05
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The digital divide is not a myth, it is a stark reality especially when it comes to Adventist Education. Students today matriculate through our institutions without acquiring the technical skill required to thrive in todays world. To address this issue Regina Harris, principal of Miami Union Academy, has turned to distance learning. Toward that end, she approached the communication and technology department of the Southeastern Conference for assistance. The result was the creation of the Miami Union Academy School of Technology.

While all of our schools have access to technology, they lack the relevant technology curriculums that are needed to develop technology skills within our students. This is due to the lack of individuals who are capable of teaching high end technology course (computer programming, network engineering, video production and web development).

In many situations there are not enough students interested in technology to justify the financial outlay needed to field a technology course. As a result, students are denied the opportunity to receive and education in technology.

Harris believes that current and emerging internet and digital technologies now make it possible to deploy effective distance education programs. Thus, students have access to high end technology courses anywhere, anytime.

Entering its second year of operation, the MUA School of Technology provides students with the unique opportunity to take high end technology courses in the disciplines of Information Technology, Computer Science, Digital Video Production and Web Development. Instruction is delivered via streaming video, rich Internet applications, interactive courseware and DVD technology. The program places the student at the center of the education process. Instructional techniques are used that foster the use and development of higher order thinking skills.

An added benefit of the program will be the creation of an army of youth that will be able to use their technical skills to effective spread the gospel in the 21st century. Consider the following statement by E.G. White: Let the workers of God manifest tact and talent, and originate devices by which to communicate light to those who are near and to those who are afar off. VSS 282

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