Learning Possibilities in Middle Years Classrooms

Boy using tablet computer in elementary school class

We live in a world of instant communication and access to information.  We have new “systems of communicating (instant messaging), sharing (blogs), buying and selling (eBay), exchanging (peer-to-peer technology), creating (Flash), meeting (3D worlds), collecting (downloads), coordinating (wikis, websites), searching (Google) and even learning” (Prensky, 2005).

This fall (2016), as part of the division’s Deeper Learning Plan, we will be supporting teaching and learning in our classrooms with the introduction of mobile learning devices that will help support student learning and the development of the eight core competencies of the division’s Deeper Learning Plan.

Every classroom in Grades 5-6 will be furnished with a short-throw digital projector, Apple TV and a pod of ten Chromebooks.  This is the first phase of the Deeper Learning Plan’s technology roll-out  for middle years, with Grades 5-6 students being provided classroom access to Chromebooks. Phase two of the plan will begin fall 2017 when Chromebooks will be placed in all Grades 7 & 8 classrooms.

Why Chromebooks?  Chromebooks are efficient, easy to operate, run using the browser-based Google Chrome ­operating system and integrate well with Google Apps for Education. Hanover School Division is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) division, and over the course of the school year students will be introduced to Google Classroom.  One of the many features of Google Classroom is the ability for students to work independently or as part of a group to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

The digital tools that the division is providing teachers and students will support student learning as they create new ideas, knowledge or understandings; explore beyond the walls of the classroom; share what they have learned; engage multiple learning styles; and help them stay intellectually, academically, emotionally,  and socially with their own learning.