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Classrooms delve deeper into digital world
From getting our news online to submitting reports via email using e-readers smart phones and tablets. There's not much in this world we do anymore without technology. And the same goes for our kids during the day at school.
The classrooms is becoming more of a multimedia experience than ever before for our Millennium Kids.
As News 5 found out that's probably a good thing because technology isn't going anywhere.
There's a lot in Nancy Oerter's 2nd grade classroom you'd expect to see. There are name tags, and signs, pencils and paper. And, of course, eager students counting during math time.
You're probably not even surprised to find that next to the books there's a computer.
"I say moderation in all things."
But what about the computer on the teachers desk hooked up to a projector that shines where there normally would be a chalkboard.
It's a very special board.
This classroom is, as the kids would say, 'decked out.' Something the Hastings Public Schools Curriculum Director Chad Dumas would say is a good thing.
"I think the question is why shouldn'' we give the kids technology, because they're going to need it when they get out to further their education so they're successful," said Dumas.
There are lights and sounds with spelling words - even video. And students get to play along, too, writing their numbers, presenting to the class.
It's an engaging tool keeping up the pacing, and keeping the kids interested.
But even with technology what they're learning hasn't changed. They still sound out letters and learn their numbers. Just in a different way.
"We can't throw out the teacher. We have to use these as a model to assist with teaching kids," said Dumas.
Not just computers and smartboards, but iPads and iPods.
"You have them so the early readers can have them to read along with books. There's letter identification. There's number games for addition and subtraction and multiplication and division," said Dumas.
"I have to read the story and I have to tell about it."
There's so many ways you can differentiate instruction down to the individual student with games so you can make the learning really fun and engaging.
And it's something you can practice at home, too. With educational games, and iTunes apps.
But one piece of advice from this curriculum director about growing technologies:
"Don't let it overcome everything you have. Kids still need to play outside. They still need to play basketball and football and play in the sand and dig in the dirt. We all need that."
The technology in Nancy Oerter's classroom doesn't stop with the iPod games, computer smartboards.
She even posts podcasts from field trips and class parties on her teaching blog.
Keeping up with technology isnot hard when you have your Masters in IT.
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