Blended learning options at Big Park Community School
Students are preparing for blended learning options and living in our high tech world starting in kindergarten at Big Park. How exciting to see children who cannot wait to get to their assignments! We have begun the process of getting Chrome books into the hands of all students at Big Park. We are so grateful to the many community members who have helped to make this possible!
A Chrome book is a type of portable computer that looks much like a laptop. It has Internet access and keyboarding functions. Most applications can be run from the Chrome book, though it does not have the storage capacity of a computer. Material is stored, instead, in the cloud. Chrome books are comparatively low cost, and high functioning, for a school setting.
Students have started learning keyboarding skills and education applications for reading, spelling, writing and research. They can use the Chrome books to access sites that provide practice in problem solving and mathematics, science and simulations. They can go on “virtual” field trips. Teachers will be able to modify curricular access so that children can read similar content material at their varied reading levels and come to some common understandings for discussion and activity-based learning opportunities. The possibilities are endless.
We are starting with basic care and use of the Chromebook, along with keyboarding skills; alongside advancing to more complex skills and applications. We could sure use some additional volunteers to help our youngest students learn these skills. If you are interested in helping in small groups, please contact the school. All volunteers need to have had a background check and fingerprint clearance. This is available at the district office through Kathleen Hutchison’s office (phone 928-204-6800 to make an appointment).
Computer technology will not take the place of educators. Professional educators are needed to determine needs, facilitate use, plan and deliver the curriculum; teachers diagnose, teach, remediate and extend learning options. The computers are tools to increase access, practice and possibilities for demonstrating skills, creating and innovating.
We do not advocate students in front of screens all day either. Students need to be active, engaged, and learning in a multi-dimensional fashion. Use of the Chromebooks is only part of any class. However, they do allow more time for collaboration, small group instruction and increased opportunities for personalized learning. We are excited about the possibilities moving forward.