BICKNELL, Ind. (WTHI) – 9 weeks into a trial run with Google Chromebooks, a device similar to a laptop computer, the North Knox School Corporation is seeing great results in the changing face of education.
“It was going to put more pressure on me to be a better teacher because I was going to have to find ways day in and day out to integrate that technology into my lessons.”
The corporation, which decided to implement the technology at the beginning of the school year, has around 500 of the devices in the hands of its teachers. For Aaron Hall, a social studies teacher at the high school, lessons learned with the device not only move a students’ education forward, but also gives them life skills.
“We are preparing kids for a changing society,” stated Hall, explaining that many aspects of life now involve technology. Long gone are the days of playing Oregon Trail on a green screen Macintosh computer; forget the old catalog method of finding books in the library!
“I graduated 20 years ago and we didn’t do anything online and now we do just about everything online” stated Hall, “The kids are so used to it, they are comfortable with it, and they’ve really embraced it.”
North Knox Junior, Blake Gandy, explained that he sees the benefits of having the devices in the classroom. The ability to use the device lightens his physical load, with fewer things to carry to class.
“I don’t have to worry about keeping track of a paper, I don’t have to worry about keeping track of a binder, everything I need is just on the computer,” Gandy said.
Gandy praised the learning modules offered by the Chromebook system. One particular module, Kahoot, allows students to participate in a game style question and answer system. Kahoot allows students to compete against one another, with the system only showing scores of the best ranking players.
While the Kahoot application seems fun in nature, administrators explained, it serves an educational purpose, with teachers essentially utilizing questions that could appear on a test.
The devices also allow students to create educational slide shows, write papers, and do homework. Gandy noted, in the cases of homework, it keeps students accountable.
“If it’s done, it’s there and if it’s not then [teachers] know the student didn’t do it,” Gandy said, “They don’t have to worry about, ‘oh well I lost my paper’ or you know excuses.”
The devices have purpose, Hall explained, “Finding ways to use it and not just for the sake of technology, but using it to enhance the learning of the students to make their educational experience.”