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Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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13 Tech Continued from 13 County Board of Education last June has it to measure actual academic impact, but Jenny Prince, instructional coach at Carver Heights, said that the technology upgrades have made a noticeable dif- ference in student behavior. "With that, we struggled with the grant we had because of the regrouping. Some of the methods we were using to measure that either don't apply or it threw off the numbers we had to really compare," she said. "We can look at discipline referrals, and that's one area where it has tremendously helped, which is with behavior and student motivation." Prince said that the students are motivated not to lose access to the technology, which leads to better behavior and better focus during class. The iPads are a central part of how the students do their class work. Teachers can use their tablets to project lessons on to a screen, moving things around and typing out lessons for the children to see. Meanwhile, students can fol- low along in real time with their own devices, making it easier for teachers to check their work as they go. For teachers, integrating technol- ogy can open up new ways to help students connect seemingly isolat- ed pieces of information. Teachers at Meadow Lane Ele- mentary School have been under- going training in a model class- room designed to teach them how to use technology in their lessons. On Jan. 23, 28 teachers from the school came together to go over strategies for using laptops and tablets. Third grade teachers Diane Grady, Sybil Wallace, Leslie Moor- ing and Penny Baker discussed using communication tools such as Skype to study the economic impact of the Brexit referendum by communicating with American mil- itary children in Britain. They said that because of Mead- ow Lane's proximity to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the school has a high percentage of military students. By using Skype and watching videos, the teachers can connect their students to other military dependents around the world with similar experiences to theirs. Bonnie Bucher, a fourth grade- teacher at Meadow Lane, said that integrated technology has helped her students step outside of the competition that sometimes arises in classrooms. "It brings them out of the right or wrong kind of mindset," she said. "Technology helps engage them, it helps them collaborate and work with each other." Looking toward the future, Lewis said that he hopes to expand access to technology to every student in the county, even if that doesn't nec- essarily mean handing every stu- dent a district-owned device of their own. He said he has high hopes for the idea of flipped instruction, in which students view lecture mate- rial at home before spending their time in class doing exercises, in reverse of the typical class lec- ture/homework structure. "Absent some big infusion of funds, I don't know that we'll ever be a one-to-one district. I think we're just too big, and it's just cost- prohibitive," he said. "But if we can allow students to bring in devices they already own, bring your own device like a tablet, like a smart- phone, and we supplement that with devices we own for kids who maybe don't have access to them, I think that's when you're going to see the blended learning and the flipped instruction really take off." Meadow Lane Elementary instructional reading coach Donna Drew, right, and with kindergarten teachers Kimberly Truesdell, middle, and Wanda Neighbors construct an outline of ideas with the intention of bringing old lesson plans into the 21st century. Digital teaching and learning coach Cindy Giambatista speaks during a technology training meeting at Meadow Lane Elementary. Giambatista explains strategies that implement technology such as laptops, tablet computers and the internet in order to illustrate new concepts to young minds.

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