e-Vermont and partner Digital Wish are helping to expand the world of learning for every 4th, 5th, and 6th grader in this rural southern Vermont town. Each week a trainer from Digital Wish joins their teachers for lessons that integrate technology into the curriculum. Along with the lessons, each student is outfitted with their very own laptop computer that is theirs for the entire school year. 1:1 classrooms such as these are repeatedly shown to stimulate learning and personal responsibility. The Dover students reflect this. When asked if they were excited about Digital Wish coming into their classroom, the answers ranged from “YES!” to “Yes maam” to “Whoo hoo!”
Through its work in schools around Vermont, Digital Wish has learned the importance of focusing its first unit on digital citizenship and cyber safety. “We know that whatever happens online, we can tell a parent and not feel ashamed,” explains one student. “We know how to respond to something we’ve never had to respond to before like cyber bullying.” These are valuable skills to instill in these young digital citizens.
These Dover students are now prepared to take their personal laptops home every night. The hope is that the students will become the teachers and connect their families to the tech skills they are learning in school. The value of these lessons is not lost on the students. “I think it will help because you use technology a lot and most jobs do include some sort of technology and if you learned it right now it’s really easy to just have it in the future.”
Read more about Digital Wish and e-Vermont’s School Modernization Initiative at http://schoolmodernizationinitiative.wordpress.com/.