"Long after they've forgotten what you taught them, they will remember how you treated them."
-author unknown

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Technology and Student Learning (at OHMS)

The use of technology in schools has increased at what can seem like an amazing rate.  Currently, OHMS has a 1:1 computer / student ratio.  Our 7th and 8th graders have MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) laptops.  While not the exact same machines, this program started back during Governor King's administration.  Student laptops have been in middle schools for many years.  More recently, the school board voted to fund this laptop program through 12th grade using the same machines found at the middle level.  As recent as last year, laptops were purchased so that our 6th graders will have the same access to technology as the rest of our students.  They are not the same machines, but equally as effective.

Simply possessing a machine will not increase student achievement.  Our student laptops are designed to be instructional tools.  We look to use them as another learning strategy to enhance students' experience.

In the 2007 posted research article from the Association of Middle Level Educators (AMLE), "under the right conditions, technology:
  • Accelerates, enriches, and deepens basic skills.
  • Motivates and engages students in learning.
  • Helps relate academics to the practices of today's workforce.
  • Increases economic viability of tomorrow's workers.
  • Strengthens teaching.
  • Contributes to change in schools.
  • Connects schools to the world."
Access to and appropriate use of existing technology is becoming more important than ever to be a successful part of life after school.  We need to teach students digital literacy so they know how to appropriately use technology.  Technology is a part of so many occupations in today's economy.  Students need to have mastered certain technology skills to have a shot at landing that job.

Technology in the classroom is also an integral part of our push toward Customized Learning.  The collection, storage and analyzing of so much data can not be done without the proper soft- and hardware.  We are continually seeking enticing and practical ways for students to complete individualized learning plans.  This often involves finding the right website.   Assistments and Google Docs are two such sites.  Please feel free to reach out and inquire about technology and learning at OHMS.  Our students and staff have embraced technology and are ready to have it positively impact our learning.    

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