Nose Creek teachers learn and educate with technology
Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 12:53 pm
Nose Creek Elementary School teachers are getting good use out of 30 iPads recently purchased for the school through its fundraising committee.
Principal John Murphy said the committee of about five parents organized fundraising events and encouraged parents to donate to raise about $27,000 that was used to purchase the iPads, Apple TVs and other equipment.
“We have such an active and engaged fundraising committee and they were really onboard with the teachers’ opinion that this technology would benefit our students,” said Murphy.
“It is wonderful to have a fundraising group who believes in what we are doing.”
Grade 4 teacher Derek Keenan has an extensive knowledge of iPads and he said the tablets are revolutionizing the way he teaches students.
“There are so many uses, from education apps to interactive features to allowing students to see what they are doing on the classroom’s SMART Boards, the possibilities are endless,” said Keenan.
Murphy agreed, saying tablets will eliminate the need for computer labs and libraries all together.
“Fixed computer labs are archaic as we speak,” he said.
“Even a library, in my opinion, is outdated now. Information is constantly being updated and housing books in a physical sense is passé. You can have all of this information at your fingertips and that is such a benefit.”
Keenan and Murphy said the iPads have uses in all subjects with a virtual keyboard function for music class, the ability to download books for Language Arts and mathletics, which adds a competitive edge to mathematics.
Currently, teachers have access to 30 iPads and the school has one class set of iPads that teachers can sign out for their students.
Murphy said the school recently received a technology grant for about $35,000 and he plans to purchase another class set of the tablets.
He said the tool is invaluable for teachers as well.
“You can record students reading and play it back, take notes on their skills and identify problems, then you can look up how to rectify those issues,” he said.
“This can be used to help students with learning disabilities or reluctant readers and it is all at your fingertips.”
He said teachers’ notes and what they learn can then be uploaded to a cloud server, where it can be shared with other teachers and other schools.
“This allows us to track students’ performance and helps administration make better choices about the needs in the schools,” he said.
The photo-taking capabilities of the iPads also help teachers grade physical objects such as a sculpture or science project after the item has been taken home by students.
“In my experience technology is not always exciting for teachers but they are excited about this,” said Keenan.
“I think the students are benefiting from that.”