Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A New Technological Aim at Student Learning

By Nathalie Sturgeon and Braden Coughlan

Blackville School is part of a provincial initiative called “Demonstration Schools.” The aim of this initiative is to study the impact of technology and computers on student learning. Along with 36 schools across the province, Blackville will represent District 16.

The focus of this research initiative is three folded. How does technology impact students? How does technology affect the engagement of students? And, lastly, how does technology address the education of diverse learners?

Blackville School has specified two questions they would like to see answered by this initiative. Is there a correlation between one-to-one access and students being on task? Secondly, will access to online resources and a variety of options for student feedback lead students to take personal ownership of their learning?

A designated team of high school teachers has been assigned to do the research, but all high school teachers will assist in the project. The school will receive assistance from District 16 Technology Mentors Joey Savoy and Rick Hayward. They will help educate students and provide Blackville with data.

“The project is really a living and evolving one that sees us addressing new needs as we identify them through our student body,” said Blackville School Vice-Principal Aaron Johnston.

“However, like any research proposal we will have to wait and see what the data at the end tells us. But, I am optimistic that this will prove to be a good initiative,” continued Johnston.

After being asked whether more money would be set forth for a program surrounding technology, Johnston had this to say, “I am hopeful that the department will find this to be a progressive initiative and be able to help fund it.” This comes after District 16 implemented SMART Boards in all their classrooms.

Grade nine student Brittney Hayne said she finds the net books convenient when doing her work. Grade nine student Madison Astle added, “Google is like a dictionary on its own, you can pretty much find anything. If you need anything you can just search it on the internet.”

“Regardless of what the results are, Blackville School will continue to be an advocate for technology in the schools. We will use it to teach, use it to engage, and use it to reach higher and higher levels of achievement,” said Johnston.

Photos by Taylar Curtis