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June 11. 2014 10:16PM

Wilton-Lyndeborough school board tackles use of technology in the classroom


Technology Committee member Shirley Schneider, right, reviews a power-point presentation outlining the district-wide technology plan for the next three years at Tuesday evening's Wilton-Lyndeborough School Board meeting. (Kathleen Baglio Humphreys)

WILTON — A comprehensive three-year technology plan was unveiled Tuesday at the Wilton-Lyndeborough School Board meeting.

Math teacher Shirley Schneider’s PowerPoint display outlined the technology items, upgrades and cost projection for the plan.

“We would like students to use technology as naturally as any other learning tool and use e-portfolios as a vehicle for assessments and self-directed learning”, said Schneider.

Two examples to show how students are using technology were presented. They were an advanced PowerPoint presentation made by a first-grader at the Lyndeborough Central School and a video done by a high school math student to prepare for an upcoming test on geometry terms.

Plans call for a pilot Bring Your Own Device to School (BYOD), in which students can use their personal devices, such as an iPad, in the classroom as learning tools. Art teacher Judy Wing has seven students registered for a computer graphics class using their own electronic devices.

Many of the schools’ computers are slow, outdated and limited.

“It’s tough to schedule computer time,” said Schneider.

Only a few classes a day can use the computers and teachers can’t integrate technology every day.

“At the two elementary schools, we are vastly needing new technology. I have a staff and student body that are ripe to have these tools at their fingertips,” said Principal Tim O’Connell.

The plan calls for rolling out more mobile labs at all schools and at the high school level by departments, and those departments can schedule lab time. The plan also addresses professional development.

The question of does technology drive the education or does the education dictate the drive for technology upgrades was debated by both sides.

“I’m not against technology. I would like to charge up that hill and get all the technology we can, but we need the ammo. We need to be able to justify it and how this will add value to the curriculum. Give me that and I’ll charge the hill,” said board member Harry Dailey.

In the end, the board requested more concrete examples of how technology will be used and how it will align with the curriculum.

khumphreys@newstote.com


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