Watch above: another school year begins with new technology for students
SASKATOON – The days of learning the home row keys and how to type are becoming near extinct like computer classes. Technology is integrated into almost every aspect of life.
“Most students now-a-days have a device of some sort, whether it be a phone or a smart phone or what have you, so the technology is there now it’s just a matter of taking that technology and using it for their education as well,” said Owen Fortosky, St. Mark School principal.
In February, Fortosky was honoured as one of Canada’s outstanding principals. With the distinction came a $20,000 grant from Samsung to help support 21st century learning.
That money was used to purchase 42 Chromebooks and 18 tablets.
“This is right at the cutting edge of technology and education strategies around the world, if you look at places like Finland and New Zealand and in the States and some places, this is what they’re talking about, this is the kind of learning our kids need to do,” said Connie Davis, a teacher/librarian at St. Mark School.
While the devices will be shared around St. Mark School, they will be mostly used in a classroom where kids need to be on technology all the time.
“Often times people are saying that personalized learning is not effective because we’re not following the provincial curriculum, I feel that we follow the provincial curriculum as well if not better then most of us can do in a classroom because we have more time to fill in the learning gaps for some of those kids,” said Davis.
With the evolution of technology, what’s new in the classroom today may not be for long.
“It’s exponential the way technology changes, so just when you think you have your head wrapped around it something new comes out, so it’s how can we get on that quick, how can we get that in the hands of kids and in the hands of teachers,” said Jay Salikin, technology coordinator at Saskatoon Public Schools .
Technology in the classroom is preparing students for what they’re going to need in the future.
St. Mark School incorporated personalized learning in the classroom four years ago as a pilot project. The program continues to grow each year.