Pilot integrates pupils’ PDAs into classrooms

Grade 9 students Emily Pineo and Jennifer Sidwell are accessing Crestomere School’s SSDZ network with their personal hand-held devices.

By Treena Mielke

A three-year project involving 100 junior high students from Bluffton and Crestomere Schools who were each issued their own laptop, has set the groundwork for the integration of student-owned devices such as iTouch, iPads, and Smart Phones in several schools in Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS).

The Alberta Education Research one-on-one project, started in 2007, allowed WCPS to explore opportunities for moving ahead on allowing students to use personal devices as learning tools.

During the project teachers worked with students to encourage critical thinking, problem solving, team work and communication skills will using their laptops.

“A focus on developing strong digital citizens was also a key emphasis. These skills are all necessary for 21st century learners,” said Mark McWhinnie, director of technology for WCPS.

McWhinnie said the one-on-one project allowed WCPS to launch the Alberta Education sponsored Student Staff Device Zone research project. The project, which began in 2009 at the pilot school, Ecole Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School, has now expanded to 11 other schools in Wolf Creek.

The SSDZ project provides students and staff with the opportunity to access all network services using personal devices.

“This allows our teachers to take advantage of digital resources without having to book a computer lab,” said McWhinnie. “And it’s been received well by parents and students.”

Penny Mueller, principal at Crestomere School, said the SSDZ project is working well at her school and students have been very responsive to the new and innovative way of learning.

“Part of this entire project is to teach the kids to be the best possible digital citizens they can be,” she said. “It is a huge component here in our school.”

Mueller said the school had a good start on the SSDZ project as students were involved in the one-on-one project at the beginning.

She said the school has progressed with the program in stages, first “ironing out the wrinkles” with administration and then providing in-service training for staff. The project was then piloted to Grade 9 students.

“They have access that enables them to be connected (to network services) right now.“

Mueller said SSDZ project will be available to other junior high students after Christmas.

Nolan Kraus, principal at Bluffton School said the program is working “fantastically” at his school. Several students in junior high are using their own laptops and he expects the numbers to increase.

“More and more students are bringing in their own equipment. The kids love it and it allows the teachers more freedom to teach different ways of learning.”

Just Posted

Town of Ponoka to hand over fire services to county

Council voted unanimously to have the county take over May 1. County meets Thursday morning

Ponoka’s bull rider Zane Lambert takes Red Deer

Lambert kicked off the CPRA 2018 season with two solid rides

Library funding increase request approved by Ponoka County

County agrees to the $60,000 request, up from $45,000 from the previous year

Ponoka town council deemed not liable by judge

Town deemed to be in compliance with borrowing bylaw requirements

PHOTOS: Family Day in Ponoka

Ponoka and area families took in the many fun events on Family Day

WATCH: Ponoka Warriors volleyball host largest ever Family Day tournament

Five divisions, 32 teams participate in 12th annual Family Day tournament

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Ponoka Stampeders out after opening round loss

Two bad Stamps’ starts gives Blackfalds series victory in playoff series

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Most Read