The Lloydminster Public School Division is shining a light on how they integrate technology in the classroom during Saskatchewan Education Week.
One of the big projects students have been working with this year include 3-D printing technology, which is being student lead in Grade 5 at Winston Churchill school. Kids learn the in’s and out’s of the Tinkercad program, and eventually bring their creations to life through this program. In addition to that, students in Lloydminster’s public schools have been working with electronics, robots and circuit boards.
LPSD Educational Technology Consultant Shelly Merth says that projects like this give kids a hands-on opportunity to learn new skills outside of the textbook.
“We like these sort of coding or innovative projects to be thrown into the mix, into their classrooms, just to give a little bit of, kind of the current technology that’s out there, so broaden their horizons a bit.”
Like many other aspects of schooling, the technological pursuits have had to adapt to the current COVID-19 guidelines. In the context of something like 3-D printing, Merth explains, students were able to learn and communicate over Google Hangouts and Videochat either in school or from home, with files able to be sent around from any school.
When it comes to using physical items, like using iPods for macro-photography or Virtual Reality headsets which allow the kids to explore the world from their classrooms, Merth notes that it’s simply about making sure touchpoints are sanitized and clean, but they haven’t let the pandemic’s rules slow them down.
“We have a classroom in Grade Five that’s doing some work with a GPS weather station, gathering data from their schoolyard and comparing it to the Environment Canada record at the airport. So, we’re not letting this slow us down, we’re going to keep positive, the students are pumped, the teachers are pumped.”
This year’s Education Week theme is Connecting and Learning in New Ways, and in addition to celebrating students success and dedication and commitment of education professionals, also marked the quick adaption and innovation in an unprecedented year.