Kids today are growing up with connected devices in their hands. From tablets and phones to TVs and wearable tech, internet-connected devices are the toys and, in many cases, the learning tools for middle school students.
They understand terms like WiFi, streaming, and data, but, that understanding is, for the most part, limited to the end result of being able to connect. They know they want it, but not much after that.
Those types of gaps in understanding and big-picture thinking are exactly why H.E. McCracken Middle School in Bluffton developed its Genius Village – Dog House Initiative. The program was started to give students the opportunity to meet politicians, business leaders and industry professionals in order for students to develop soft skills in brainstorming, troubleshooting, and team building while working to advance innovative solutions for problems in our community. The Genius Village is an outgrowth of the highly successful Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program that has been in existence for several years in many schools throughout South Carolina, but new this year to McCracken Middle.
Recently, Pam Davis, a sales training specialist here at Hargray, participated in the program and spoke with a group of students to talk about internet connectivity and the impact internet speeds have on a connection.
“I have a technology background and I taught ninth grade technology courses for 15 years in Beaufort County schools, so it was fun to be in that role again,” Pam says, reflecting on the opportunity. “I’m all for anything that helps our students relate the ‘real world’ to what they are learning in school.”
Pam started with an overview of who she is and what she does at Hargray, and then she posed real-world problems caused by poor internet speed. The scenarios centered around different home situations with varying WiFi needs, ranging from a family of six with 18 connected devices to a couple without children who work remotely from home. Each of these poses a unique need when it comes to appropriate bandwidth and speed. The students worked together to develop possible solutions to the problems.
“I thought they really did a good job of analyzing the situation and applying appropriate speed recommendation,” she said. “It’s the future. Understanding how the technology in your home works and what you need is essential.”
This was an exciting opportunity for Pam and for Hargray. If you think students at your local school would be interested in a visit from a Hargray team member to talk about internet-related topics, let us know! Contact Karen.Cline@htc.hargray.com.