Using and understanding technology is fundamental to success in the modern world. At The Whole Learning School, technology is also an important “equalizer” for students. “Technology makes it easier for our students to demonstrate what they know, unencumbered by how neatly they can write or how perfectly they can spell,” said Head of School Ann Rooney.
Classroom Teacher Adam Katz is really excited about how technology helps his students. “I have one entire language arts group that is learning how to create paragraphs with topic sentences, supporting details, and conclusion sentences not only on 20th century note pads, but on 21st century tablet computers,” he said. “The students love it and the technology makes them even more eager to learn and do their work,” Katz said.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Vijay, age 7.
“I am so happy about being in this class,” said Stephanie, age 14.
In addition to tablet-style computers, every student at TWLS has a school-provided AlphaSmart “Dana” computer. The “Danas” are laptops designed for school children to assist them with writing and keyboarding, both critical skills for being employable adults. In addition, to writing and keyboarding, the Danas have calculators and calendar functions, too.
While all of these are excellent tools, TWLS can always use newer, better and more technology. “The Danas we have are eight years old and students have to supply their own tablet computers,” Rooney said. “In addition, many of our desktop computers are dinosaurs in the technology world.”
However, donated computers do not always have compatible operating systems, making it hard to simply encourage people to donate used systems. The reality is that the best way to help TWLS, or any other organization with technology needs, is to make either a technology-specific donation or to call and discuss how to make the greatest impact. To learn more about The Whole Learning School’s specific needs, call Julie at 763-231-2700.