Technology Finds Home in New Classrooms

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Technology Finds Home in New Classrooms

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2,000 tablets donated to schools @Verizon to promote learning with technology read more

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Students in Donna May's 6th grade class at St. Aloyius, seated, participate in Skype lesson with students from Bay Head elementary school. / Courtesy of St. Aloysius

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 7:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Education

CONTENT: Article

This article was written by Dan Radel originally published by the Asbury Park Press


What will future classrooms look like? Will kids be required to study with other kids from around the country? Will they be paperless? The use of more technology — such as Skyping, online courses and tablets in grade schools today — might make that a possibility.

Skyping enables two people, or in the case of St. Aloysius and Bay Head elementary schools, two classes 20 miles apart, to communicate visually in real time by using laptop computers and clip-on Web cams.

The Skyping project at those two schools is a collaboration between Donna May’s sixth-grade math class at St. Aloysius in Jackson and Thomas Kennedy’s sixth-grade math class in Bay Head.

“The students in the sixth-grade class are always excited when we Skype with the sixth-grade class at Bay Head School,” May said.

May said a recent Skyping lesson involved review work of the metric system and the Summer Olympics being held in London. The students in both classes solved word problems based on the games and converted the metric measurements to the U.S. customary units. May and Kennedy also were able to use Skype to broadcast a presentation featuring a Holocaust survivor who spoke at Bay Head School.

“Presentations of this type are another aspect of Skyping that we think will be valuable as we move into next year,” said Olive Taylor, staff member of St. Aloysius.

Meanwhile, Keyport High School has embraced online courses. Since the 2008-2009 school year, Keyport has been participating with Virtual High School, a company that provides online courses.

In this program, students from all over the country take the same class at the same time. Virtual High School provides more than 400 courses covering the basics of language arts, sciences and math, to elective courses such as video game design. The courses are taught by teachers from participating schools.

Keyport Superintendent Lisa Savoia said she is very supportive of the program.

“As a district, we want to be competitive and offer our students the best educational opportunities we can,” Savoia said.

While Skyping and online courses are creating the virtual classroom, the Long Branch School District is eliminating some paperwork for its students after introducing tablets to their middle school in January.

Long Branch Superintendent Michael Salvatore said all 951 middle school students have been given Samsung Galaxy tablets, and the district has purchased mobile learning plans that allow the children to access their district server to complete their homework and review teachers' web pages.

Salvatore said the tablets are relatively inexpensive at approximately $200 each; however, Verizon executives made the district an “offer hard to refuse,” when they donated more than 2,000 tablets after the district requested quotes for the middle school students. That reduced the cost to less than $20 per student.

Keywords: Innovation & Technology | Bay Head School | Innovation & Technology | Keyport High School | Lisa Savoia | Long Branch School District | Michael Salvatore | Skyping | St. Aloysius | Verizon | Virtual High School

CAMPAIGN: Education

CONTENT: Article