Advanced Education partner, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, has approved, in principle, an ‘Instructional Technology Plan’ that links the use and provision of instructional technology with student achievement goals.
The three-phase, multi-million-dollar plan will be principally composed of the following:
- Wireless networking
- Interactive whiteboards (or SMART Boards)
- Teacher and student computers
- Assistive technology
- Desktop video
- e-Mail for students.
Diane Lloyd, Chairperson of Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Trustees commented, “We need to be sure that we’re providing our students and staff with all the tools they require to develop the 21st century skills necessary in our modern society.”
Meanwhile, local School Board Trustee, Gordon Gilchrist, said, “The plan is to increase the pupil-to-SMART-Board ratio to 50:1 and laptop computers or similar devices to one device for every four students. I’d like to see KPR leading in Ontario in instructional technology.”
“Already, the use of SMART Boards is so popular in schools that have them, such as Terry Fox Public School in Cobourg, that they have to reserve them,” Gilchrist added. “This is a key way for technology and information from around the world to be brought into schools. There is no way all of that can be in one teacher’s brain.”
SMART Boards are a kind of interactive whiteboard bringing information from the Internet, on a laptop or anything on computer disc to the classroom. Information is projected onto a screen that students can touch to change, move images or write on. The images can also be printed off if desired so students have the classroom presentations in paper form as well.
When making visual presentations on any subject at all, the students can choose canned images, graphics from the Internet or make their own through drawings or photographs. They can use a microphone to add words to the pictures. They can also choose music to enhance their presentations.
Grade 8 student Tia Acheson has been using SMART Boards for two years. The 13-year-old worked on a slide show using the technology available to research, create and then present a subject that in the past might have been an essay and/or Bristol board display.
The SMART Boards not only draw on all input technology that taps into information, graphics and pictures but lets the kids interact with and create their own understanding of it.
For a generation growing up with computers at home for playing games and doing homework, the SMART Board keeps up with the speed of changing data that fills the world.
According to Diane Lloyd, “We must always remember that technology by itself is not a ‘magic solution’ to ensuring student learning and achievement. It’s our teachers and staff that make that happen. But this plan serves as our vision and our guide. It’s where we’d like to go in a perfect world.”
For more information on how interactive SMART Board technology can help enhance teaching practices and engage and motivate students, contact Advanced Education now or call us toll free at 1-800-436-6239.