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Saskatoon classrooms becoming more tech-savvy

SASKATOON – Being tech-savvy at school used to mean old Apple computers and floppy disks.

Now, kids are doing more than learning how to type, they are doing research right from their desks.

Pencils and paper are still key tools in school but laptop computers are becoming an important aspect as well.

Technology isn’t taking over the classroom at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School but enhancing the learning experience.

“My favorite part of using technology is when the teachers step back and get out of the way of learning and say ok even my kids that have difficulty focusing, even my kids (with) typical behavior issues are working, they are engaged,” said educator Connie Davis.

“It makes us have opportunities to do our best teaching practices.”

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Students are using computers and other devices to help them learn early-on in school.

“Like any other tool, if you use it properly it can be effective, it can help learning, it can help students embrace and connect,” said Jay Wilson, U of S Educational Technology and Design assistant professor.

“But if it’s used improperly, (it’ll) have a negative impact on the classroom,”

It’s a constant challenge teachers and schools face. For example, students at St. Mark were learning how to use Bing on Wednesday. The search engine could very well be obsolete by the time they graduate.

“It’s so important that we not only focus on one kind of technology, just for example tablets or PC’s,” said Davis.

“We need to give children a range of devices to use so that they can be well versed in all of the devices that they might need to access as they get older,”

Computers for Schools is a program helping Saskatchewan students from kindergarten to grade 12 get into technology.

Donating old iPads to classrooms will result in a tax deductible receipt based on the fair market value.