Clicks in the Classroom: Teachers, students prep for 2016-17 academic year

February 07 2021 06:30 pm

“It’s been pretty amazing,” said 7th Grade Math Teacher Anne Hall.

Hall, a seventh grade math teacher from John Adams Middle School has seen the evolution and inclusion of technology in the classroom during a career that has spanned two decades. 

“We had calculators when I first started now everything is on our phone.” 

It’s not just the students that are on their phones, so are the teachers, incorporating everything from apps to augmented reality as extra tools to educate students.

“Apps like Schoolagy and the iPads that everybody is using,” said High School Chemistry Teacher Joseph Overbaugh.

Not just at the high school chemistry level, but kids in 1st grade, too.

“They pick up on technology as quick as if not better than me. My kid is two and she can already operate an IPhone,” said 1st Grade Teacher Brittany Downey.

The emphasis for the 2016-2017 academic year is not just about preparing students through technology education but also, the educators themselves. 

Among this group of new teachers, do they feel as though their education has prepared them in terms of technology when they enter the classroom? 

“There is a pretty big disconnect between what I did in college and what I’m doing now. My college tried to prepare me for that but there is still a disconnect there,” said Overbaugh.

“I feel very prepared. We had a great tech department at my school. I am a Mac, iPhone user. I feel like everything correlates together,” explained Downey.

Schools in the southern part of the Mountain State will continue to utilize the positive aspects of technology but also this year “digital citizenship” will be taught to students about how to properly use social media. 

Technology Director Leah Sparks said it can impact every aspect of their young lives.

“We want to make sure they understand how it can impact their future education, their careers but also how it can be used to help get the good work they’re doing out into the community,” said Sparks.

On top of all the new tech in the classroom this year, the June Floods will be on everyone’s mind, including those in the educational technology community as assessments are still ongoing as to the digital damage done and what needs to be replaced.

“We won’t know more until the kids return to school so we can make a full assessment.”

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