Students within the Hanover School Division are learning in ways they have never before been able to, thanks to the Deeper Learning Program.
Assistant Superintendent Colin Campbell says one dimension of this program is leveraging digital media in the classroom setting. As a result of this, Campbell indicates that every elementary classroom now has several iPads, every middle-years class has 10 chrome-books, and every single high school student has a personal laptop.
“There is so much educational technology out there,” says Campbell, “but we really try and look for the best tools that will really deepen learning and enhance engagement.” Campbell cites Mitchell Middle School (MMS) as an excellent example of using technology well.
MMS has a room called a “Maker-Space” which is full of programmable robots, interactive learning apps, and even a Lego centre, explains Principal Andrew Mead. “I think the most important things is that we want kids to be makers and creators using tech as opposed to just being consumers.”
Mead notes that every class has the opportunity to come into the Maker-Space once a school-cycle, to experiment with the different pieces of technology available to them.
Kara Barkwell, a grade 5 teacher at MMS says she has seen first hand how media can increase a child’s desire to learn. “One of the things that I’ve really notice is that students are able to interact with what their learning on a deeper level by making connections between the things that they’re learning in class and the things going on in the Maker-Space.”
Barkwell says the space also gives her an advantage as a teacher because it allows her to see how her students are engaged and enables her to adjust her classroom teaching accordingly.
Campbell stresses that this is merely one example of many within the division and suggests students and teachers all across Hanover are plugging into technology in fresh and stimulating ways that aid their ability to retain information while enjoying the process at the same time.