The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

Opinion

February 12, 2014

Digital Learning takes students into 21st century

The classrooms your children and grandchildren sit in each day are vastly different from the classrooms you grew up in.

That was especially the case earlier this month when schools across the country observed Digital Learning Day.

In some classrooms, students determined their digital footprint.

Some students wrote blogs about ethical issues in communication.

Some students even studied the impact digital media has on their personal lives by analyzing their use of digital media during one 24-hour time period.

These were just some of the lessons offered on Digital Learning Day to help promote new ways of learning.

In Marion County, education leaders use digital learning as a way to deliver content better and in a more interesting way. Teachers do this by using online virtual science lab activities, interactive poetry websites, Google Earth, Excel spreadsheets, and other online and interactive tools. There’s also a monthly newsletter called “Technology Access Point” that highlights events in the schools involving technology as well as other digital learning updates.

As Chad Norman, administrative assistant of technology services, explained, the goal is to give every student and teacher the opportunity to learn in a robust digital environment, not just on Digital Learning Day, but every day.

“We have the goal of success in the classroom, and we want students to carry that success into post-secondary education and their career,” Norman added. “We want them to take the pledge to support the effective use of technology to improve the education of all students. We’re so proud of the teachers in Marion County because they understand their content area. They use technology as a tool to enhance learning and to address content.”

Some, like Leigh Ann Hood, do that by purchasing new digital items for their classrooms. As the librarian at East Park Elementary, Hood used part of her library budget to buy Nooks for her students, and the library is now equipped with 20 Nooks and two Kindle Fires, along with laptops, DVDs, LeapPads and books on tape.

“They’re tablets, so they have the Internet on them. They can move much more easily around the room,” Hood explained. “The kids can be anywhere they want to be without being confined to one area. Moving the laptops every day is complicated.”

Students can download ebooks to the Nooks, which broadens their options when it comes time for weekly individual reading time. This ensures children are reading content they’re interested in, Hood said.

Hood also works to incorporate technology in her everyday lessons by teaching them how to type so they’re prepared to take statewide testing online and using the Internet to show students photographs of places mentioned in books they read.

Adjusting to this new form of learning is essential, as Valerie Rinehart, a math teacher at East Fairmont High School, pointed out. Rinehart, who teaches college-level math classes that require students to take tests online and use math programs online on a regular basis, has also moved toward a more digital way of teaching.

“We’re in a 21st-century world,” Rinehart said. “They’re being tested online. Their college classes are going online. Everything is going that route, and if we’re using antiquated equipment, we’re not cutting it.”

As digital learning becomes more common, we’re encouraged by local teachers’ willingness to incorporate the style into their lessons. As Rinehart said, relying on outdated methods just won’t cut it, and today’s students deserve the very best that can be offered to them.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads