This post is sponsored by Corning® Gorilla® Glass
When I was growing up, using a computer was a treat. The single computer in my elementary school made rare appearances in my fifth grade classroom, often staying for just a day before being wheeled down the hall to be used elsewhere. Whatever time I didn’t have on the computer in the classroom, I made up for during the summers when my mom brought her computer home from her classroom. The behemoth of a machine occupied the majority of the table it sat on, its green and black screen monitor towering over me while the 5” floppy disks whirred in the drive as I played games like Lemonade Stand, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, and Oregon Trail.
These days I can visit the same model of the computer I used during my elementary school days in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. On a recent visit, my kids marveled at the size of the computer, scoffed at my limited selection of educational games, and imagined life without mobile devices with touch screens.
Learning with Technology Then and Now
When I started teaching in 1998, having two computers in my classroom and an hour a week in the computer lab with 30 machines was considered cutting edge. These days my son’s elementary school is outfitted with smart boards and laptops are unplugged and plugged in throughout the day as students access websites, videos, and assignments via an online portal.
Learning that happens at school is expected to continue at home as students come home, log on to their accounts, and finish assignments, especially if you’re a middle schooler like my daughter, Emily.
Emily comes home, throws her binder down on the table, and has a snack while finishing a math assignment or paper and pencil task for one of her other classes. Then she’ll pick up her laptop or a tablet and go work somewhere else in the house. She might want quiet to write a paper for English, listen to music while writing lines of code for her web development class, or be perfectly content using the all-in-one one touchscreen computer in our kitchen to read an article for science. Some days when she needs clarification about an assignment, she’ll email her teacher from her mobile phone while on the bus and have already gotten a response by the time she walks in the door.
Because technology has become more portable, increasingly durable, and increasingly powerful as a learning tool, Emily is empowered to learn what she wants, where she wants, and how she wants.
These days Emily is rarely without her smartphone and it seems like her Surface Pro 4 tablet is never far away either. Like many kids her age, she spends countless minutes each and every day interacting with the glass on her phone, tablet, and laptop tapping, swiping, and typing to access and send information. She’s a proficient user of technology, fluidly moving across platforms and devices without interruption to her schoolwork. Emily spends so much time with her digital devices throughout the day, it’s not surprising that her phone or tablet sometimes slips from her fingers, falling to the floor.
Developing a New Generation of Glass for a New Generation of Learners
These days each and every one of us demands a lot for our digital devices. We expect them to be light, fast, high performing, and durable. Because we rely on our technology so much, scientists in Corning’s lab in Corning, New York perform tests to simulate the kinds of stress that cover glass endures in the field. They bend, they break, and they drop to create durable glass that not only looks great but is highly responsive to our touch and can withstand the tough conditions that our devices are subjected to each and every day whether in backpacks, laptop bags, or face down on on our kitchen floors.
Corning’s gold-standard of drop tests aims to replicate real-world drops on rough surfaces that commonly causes cover glass to break. Researchers create and test what it’s like for your child’s tablet or smartphone to fall face first on asphalt.
The constant replication and study the problem of breakage led to Corning researchers creating the toughest cover glass to date— Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4. This tough cover glass protects better against drops than previous versions of Gorilla Glass. It’s been formulated tough in order to deliver dramatically improved drop performance, but maintains the thinness and lightness of previous versions.
Having tough cover glass on my family’s digital devices provides peace of mind. I know the devices I’m putting in my kids’ hands to help them learn are not only light, portable, and powerful but they’re also durable learning tools thanks to Gorilla Glass 4.
Working with Corning over the past six months has provided me with a look at the brand from inside out, including the very exclusive privilege of a behind the scenes look at what happens at the Corning’s Sullivan Park Research and Development campus at their headquarters in Corning, New York. At its core, Corning is a science company that is deeply rooted in innovation and Sullivan Park is where the magic happens. It’s where scientists examine the way light moves through glass to ensure that the cover glass on our devices is pure and doesn’t distort the images we’re seeing but remains responsive to our touch. It’s also where fractographers like Lisa Noni develop lab tests that purposely bend and break glass so they can better understand why and how glass breaks.
As a parent and former teacher, I believe in fostering my kids’ interests to help them learn while providing them with the tools that they need to make learning easy and ensure their success in school. These days digital devices are essential to the learning process both in the classroom and at home. Thanks to the research done by Corning to create Gorilla Glass 4, I can concentrate on what Emily is learning and be less concerned about damage from a potential drop.
Women Who Innovate Tough
Learning about tough subjects is made easier thanks to Gorilla Glass 4 and to celebrate the ways girls are using technology to learn, I’m launching Women Who Innovate Tough with Corning. Over the next month I’ll be talking more about the role technology plays in education, taking you behind the scenes for a virtual field trip to Corning’s Sullivan Park Research and Development campus, and showcasing some of the incredible women scientists whose scientific research and development impact the technology we use every day for the chance to win a trip to join me and Emily in Corning, New York for a very special behind the scenes look at the innovation that occurs in the Corning labs.
Yes, a trip to Corning, New York and the privilege of joining me for an exclusive look at the incredible innovation that happens at Corning!
Emily is a middle schooler who loves science but data shows that her interest in STEM subjects will disappear during the middle school years if it’s not nurtured through engaging lessons, extra curricular activities, and parental encouragement. Women Who Innovate Tough is an opportunity for a mother-daughter pair to join me to experience the amazing aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math to learn about the glass we use every day on our digital devices.
It is my hope that the winning mother-daughter pair will walk away as inspired as I was after my visit to Corning. Not only will this trip change the way you look at glass forever, but it’s an opportunity to spend time with Lisa Noni and other incredible women scientists at Corning whose whose scientific research and development impacts technology we use in our every day lives.
How to Enter Women Who Innovate Tough
Technology allows our girls to learn in ways that were never possible when I was a child. Mobile devices have changed the way today’s generation learns because they help our kids learn how and where they want. In order to celebrate the tough challenges that girls are able to face thanks to technology, one very lucky mother-daughter pair will have the opportunity to visit Corning with me and Emily this summer and will receive a Surface Pro 4 to continue learning through Gorilla Glass.
In order to enter, tweet your answer to this question, tagging @CorningGorilla, and using the hashtag #LearningThroughGorillaGlass:
Join Me for Women Who Innovate Tough Twitter Party on Monday, May 2 at 9 pm ET
To celebrate learning, I’m also hosting a Twitter party with my friends, Meridith and Kim from Project Eve (@ProjectEve1). Join us to talk parenting challenges, how technology helps you solve tough learning challenges, the kinds of devices that exist today that you wish you had as a kid, and more on Monday, May 2 at 9 pm ET for a chance to win a Microsoft Surface Pro 4! And every tweet during the party that includes @CorningGorilla and #LearningThroughGorillaGlass is another entry for a chance to win our grand prize– a trip to meet Corning Women scientists in Corning, New York AND a Microsoft Surface Pro 4!
I can’t wait to see your tweets with the many things that your girls are learning with the help of technology!
Although this post is sponsored as part of my work with Corning, all opinions are my own and based on personal experience. For official contest rules, visit:
- Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 Women Who Innovate Tough Twitter Contest Official Rules
- Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 Women Who Innovate Tough & Leticia Barr Twitter Party Official Rules