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Friday, May 23, 2014


As technology visionary Marc Prensky writes in his book, Teaching Digital Natives, “…students in our classrooms are changing – largely as a result of their outside-of-school experience with technology – and are no longer satisfied with an education that doesn’t immediately address the real world in which they live…. Digital technology can make our students’ learning real, engaging, and useful for their future.” The iPad pilot initiative at South Elementary School aims to inspire students to make meaningful connections as they become self-directed, independent learners and increase their capacity to create, collaborate, problem solve and communicate their discoveries to others. One such example can be found on selected Friday afternoons when Mrs. Batchelder’s fifth grade class partners with Mrs. Whicher’s first graders to write their own books through the “Book Creator” application. Watching students’ confidence and excitement grow as they use the iPad tool together to plan, act, assess, rethink, and publish their work is an inspiring experience. Another popular application finds students creating “Explain Everything” videos to demonstrate their understanding of mathematical concepts. Watching students from Mrs. Kennedy’s fifth grade class explain in their own words using their own examples the “order of operations” or how to add and subtract equivalent fractions, provides insight into their knowledge base and is highly entertaining! Moving forward South School looks to expand access to the iPad tool as a way to empower our teachers to promote the lifelong skill of active learning.

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