Technology helps students focus on learning

The world is becoming more technologically advanced by the second, and students need to be educated on those matters using the same tools

The world is becoming more technologically advanced by the second, and students need to be educated on those matters using the same tools they’re learning about.

An Alberta education initiative— 21st Century Learning — is a driving force behind the idea students need to the technologies in order to analyze new situations and advance their minds’ critical thinking capacity.

However, in order to properly educate the students, the teachers themselves must first understand the emerging technology.

Enter the 21st Century Learning Symposium — teachers teaching teachers.

The symposium took place Sept. 26 and 27 at the Terrace Ridge School in Lacombe and was attended by 500 teachers and other staff members of Wolf Creek Public Schools, as well as other districts.

The focus of many of the sessions was training the teachers on how to use the technology as well as helping them to understand how it can be used in the classroom.

Universal Design for Learning is the idea students should have the opportunity to access and complete their assignments on a number of different mediums in order to engage themselves in a way that best presents their skills and knowledge.

“I had a kid in Grade 5, he was a nightmare. He wouldn’t do his work, he wouldn’t engage,” said Assistive Technology Tips and Tricks presenter Jay Cottell.

Cottell designed a 5-week electric model car assignment for his students. Because it was hands on the student who previously refused to participate in class was done the model in three days and spent the remaining four weeks helping his classmates.

“You have to give it (lessons) to kids in multiple ways and allow them to give it back to you in multiple ways,” said Cottell.

To Cottell, 21st Century Learning is about awareness, willingness and effort on the teacher’s part. “The more you do that meets everybody’s needs, everyone benefits.”

Technology was the main focus of the session, but not the main focus of the curriculum. “It’s about supportive learning, and teachers need to be inclusive,” said Cottell.

Supportive learning using technology doesn’t always mean high-tech gadgets.

The assistive learning continuum adheres to the idea low-grade technology helps students focus on their studies.

Cottell uses devices such as “wiggle seats” or Thera-band, a rubber piece stretching between the legs of a desk for students to play with on a subconscious level to keep them engaged when the activity isn’t very hands on.

Programs including Cloud On — similar to Microsoft Office and YouTube are becoming prominent in classrooms when it comes to assignment styles.

Sharing a class YouTube account and creating videos for assignments will allow students to continue learning outside the classroom and easily share their findings.

However, in passing at the symposium, the Wolf Creek Public Schools staff member made the comment that, while technology and the teaching benefits involved are “cool”, such as the apps that lower the reading grade level of text and assignments the students deal with, they may also be harming students in the long run.

The staff member wondered if more emphasis should be placed on the fact so many students without learning disabilities are behind in grade level abilities in today’s society.

 

Just Posted

Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka counties launch agricultural plastics recycling program

The three counties signed an agreement with Merlin Plastics

Bashaw council declines penalty forgiveness request from Bashaw Motel owners

The motel was destroyed in the 2016 fire; owners owe $46,000 in fire services, taxes and penalties

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Ponoka County residents divided on farmland uses

There were about 150 people at the county’s meeting related to reducing confined feeding operations.

Ponoka County slows changes to CFO plans

Residents speak their concerns over the potential of changing areas allowing CFOs

UPDATED: Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Gala brings the stars to Central Alberta

The Gala raises money for various children’s charities throughout Canada

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Ponoka RCMP investigate commercial break and enter

Other RCMP files include suspects photographing rural properties and other theft files

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Multiple quakes kill at least 12 on Indonesian islands

A shallow magnitude 6.9 quake that hit about 10 p.m causing landslides

Most Read