The Times West Virginian


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.

Text Only
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads