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Neighbors of DuPage

Lisle Students build technology skills for future

May 26, 2015 10:10AM ● By Katelyn Nelson

The skillsets students need to successfully compete in tomorrow’s workplace are still dependent on reading, writing, and arithmetic; however the evolving technologies that drive the ways in which work is conducted in today’s workplace is rapidly impacting “what” and “how” students learn. The educators at Schiesher Elementary School in Lisle CUSD 202 recognize this fact and are proactively adapting their teaching and learning approaches to prepare their students to meet the new challenges of tomorrow. Teachers understand that to effectively address this issue technology must be utilized in the classroom as well as seamlessly integrated into the curriculum as students think and learn throughout the school day.

 At Schiesher Elementary School the kindergarten teachers incorporate engaging learning opportunities that motivate and enhance student learning through the use of the Apple iPad. The iPad is used both as a learning tool and to show the learning process of their students. One way in which kindergarteners use the personal devices is by utilizing QR codes during Reading Center time. Students use the iPad to scan a QR code on a book to open a link to an audiobook. This action encourages kindergarteners to listen to a story while following along with the book in their hands. The use of hand-held technologies in this example shows how students improve their reading skills while also learning how to use the technology as a tool to access information.

As students progress through the grades, Schiesher third graders use Google Chromebooks to expand their learning through online applications and discovery learning. The Internet allows students to break down the traditional walls of the classroom and explore places across the country. “Virtual field trips” to historical sites such as Ellis Island are now possible from the students’ desks. Students are able to participate in the “field trip” at their own pace allowing for deeper exploration into areas of interest.

In fourth grade, students further develop their content and technology skills across subject areas. During the study of economics students design and sell products at a grade level “Money Market.” Using technology as a vehicle to show understanding of the curriculum concepts in Social Studies and Language Arts, students use iPads to take pictures, write scripts, and create iMovies to advertise products to the other consumers in fourth grade.

The technology integration builds in fifth grade as students utilize Google Chromebooks daily. The collaborative features of Google allow students to simultaneously work online together on projects both at school and from home. Researching, expanding learning, collaborating, and reinforcing learning are all at students’ fingertips through the use of technology. Fifth graders also become engaged global learners by working with other students across the United States and the world through applications including Skype and Twitter. Fifth grade teacher Mrs. Tracey Potempa commented, “We are all learning and figuring out the endless possibilities for which technology can be used. There is no doubt in my mind that the use of these different devices and programs is prepping the students to be college and career ready.”

Today’s students are learning in new and exciting ways every day. From personal devices to online collaboration, Schiesher students are carefully exposed and guided through the productive power of technology platforms that provides them with access, opportunity, and the confidence to compete and be successful both personally and in their chosen careers of the future.