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Technology Inspires Learning

Karter Stricklin creates his PowerPoint in the Computer Lab of Sun Valley Elementary School.

At Sun Valley Elementary School, students are researching topics but not in the usual ways! Third grade student, Karter Stricklin, who is a member of Diana Hutchens’ class puts it this way, “I am using Google Docs to create a PowerPoint on volcanoes. This technology is inspiring me to have fun while I am learning.” In the past, students created paper and pencil reports. Karter didn’t like those. “They were frustrating. When I made mistakes, erasing made it look messy. Mistakes made me mad! Now I can make changes with the click of a button.”

In a collaborative effort, third grade teachers contacted Media Coordinator, Kevin Vickers, to request his assistance in locating print media for students to use. After researching their topics in the media center, laptop carts, and the computer lab were used for online research. The final step was creating the PowerPoints using Google Apps, recently made available through Union County Public Schools. The use of Google Apps has made the report stage creative and fun. Students have private accounts only accessed by the student and the teacher. Students worked on their projects in class, in the computer lab, and at home.

Teachers learned about this technology alternative in grade level classes taught by UCPS Instructional Technology Facilitator Brady Thomas. Mrs. Hutchens said one of the many advantages to this tool is the conferencing aspect.Teachers can write notes that immediately appear on the student’s screen. Collaboration is much easier and efficient.

Principal Terri Cooper, an advocate for technology as well, sees this as a tool that helps students move from a passive to an active role. “Our students are actively making decisions about how to obtain, manipulate and organize information.”

All in all technology in the classroom is a win-win for everyone! 

Written by: Louise Glover
Posted: Jan 04, 2013 by Kevin Vickers

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