Since its earliest days, The First Nations School of Toronto has faced its fair share of challenges.
A comprehensive report released earlier this year, highlighted the fact that this particular school “occupies the lowest rung in academic standing amongst the 451 elementary schools in the Toronto District School Board”. The report also went on to say that, “the achievement gap” for aboriginal students has increased, rather than decreased, over the past five years.”
But a raft of measures have gradually been introduced with the aim of creating change for the better by addressing the “socio-economic circumstances of the majority”.
One significant addition to the list of initiatives put in place is the introduction of whiteboard (or SMART Board) technologies within the classroom.
The principal at the First Nations School of Toronto for the last nine years commented, “We now have white-board technology in most of the classrooms, which is very interactive and hands-on.” He added, “Aboriginal kids are visual learners, tactile learners – the ‘show me’ kind of kids.”
“Having white-board technology in class really engages them. They can go up and touch the screens and move things around – all of which gets them more involved in the lesson,” said the principal. “It’s beginning to turn things around.”
According to the educator, who has taught at the school for the last nine years, the rise in academic achievement, while not overwhelming, has its roots in the new technology brought into the school.
“We’ve spent a great deal of our focus over the last two years on how to engage these kids,” he went on to say, “And the difference is in the results.”
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