Valley teachers embrace ‘digital native’ students

Mobile devices and laptops are being used in classrooms more than ever

Classroom technology

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN)  – Technology is everywhere, and kids know how to use it. Even toddlers know how to use an iPad and smartphone.

More school districts in the Valley are using technology, such as Chromebooks in the classroom. Struthers middle and high school students received the devices this week.

“I wasn’t really for the Chromebooks at first. I thought they were kind of forced on us. But after using them, I really like them. I ‘m glad they took the opportunity to give all of us our own Chromebooks,’ said student Te’a Engstorm.

The 600 students who have the Chromebooks at Struthers can take them home and work on assignments or they can leave them at school.Struthers Lead Principal Roger Day said it’s an extension of the school day.

“We talk about the school day being seven hours long, but that’s not when the school day ends,” Day said. “They go home and they’ve got questions and to have that connection to be able to connect to teachers is really powerful,” Roger Day.

Getting the technology in the district has been in the works for three years. The district picked up the $375,000 cost for the new technology, and parents don’t have to pay anything unless they want the optional $25 insurance.

At C.H. Campbell Elementary in Canfield, third graders use chrome books, too. Third grade teacher Kristin Hartshorn said the devices are a great way to collaborate with students, and the keyboarding helps them with testing.

“Typing can make it a more time-consuming process, and so we do like to start the typing process here at Canfield as early as second grade. So, when they come into third grade, they type a little bit better,” Harthorn said.

Hartshorn said students today are “digital natives.” That means teachers have to change their entire concept of how to teach and instructional methods in order to make lessons relevant.

“There is no job, nothing that we do that doesn’t require those technological skills these days, so they are getting to have those opportunities,’ Day said.

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