by Kyle Weber
As the students at Lexington Elementary and I sat down together to register for a new chess website, it was immediately apparent that this opportunity to incorporate technology into our curriculum would positively impact my chess instruction in the classroom. While technology should never supplant quality instruction, it should certainly augment everything a passionate instructor hopes to achieve. As soon as the user names were entered into the system, the students moved into autonomous mode, actively searching out as many new representations of the game as they could. Thousands of tactics, puzzles, and the ability to challenge chess players from all over the nation in a matter of seconds. For a brief moment, I was worried. What in the world could I offer that hasn’t been pieced together a thousand times over through this amazing online resource? My anxieties washed away as soon as they formed. “Mr. Weber how do I….?” “Mr. Weber, what if I tried…?” “Mr. Weber, could you explain why…?” The students still needed me to be there as a teacher. While technology is a perfect supplement to millions of ideas, it cannot replace the essential human element in the learning process. We will always be needed to explain, push, challenge, inspire, and to ultimately share in the learning experience with our students.