New technology is added to school curriculum in Mishawaka

School City of Mishawaka has been working to help students gain new skills through technology. Instead of just using pencil and paper, classrooms are incorporating more tablets and laptops. 

ABC57 talked to the Director of Technology for the district to see how beneficial these upgrades are.  

For the teachers, it allows flexibility on lessons for the students. As for the students, it gives them an option to learn at their own pace.

“So, it’s not the same learning for every student," Eric Johnson, Director of Technology, said. “They get to pursue a learning object in a way that they feel most comfortable in.”

Mishawaka has a plan in place to have a laptop, tablet or mini in all of its students' hands.

Students will use technical skills, like typing and video recording, to advance in the classrooms, but in the long run administrators say this upgrade is beneficial for the future of teaching.

“The data that tech gives us helps hone in on specific learning objectives for a kid,” said Johnson.

Johnson adds it’s not about the device students will get, it’s also about how they’re learning. 

But this upgrade doesn’t only teach school subjects. It also touches on online behavior.

“Digital citizenship is at the core of our plan to teach students and adults on how to interact and collaborate online,” explains Johnson. “Because we act differently when were behind a screen as we would face to face.”

Efforts are being made to make sure every student gets the chance to benefit. 

 “So that access shouldn’t depend on where you live it should be across the board and that’s what we’re working for,” says Johnson.

Tech upgrades depend on the districts that need these resources, which then the government is in charge of funding.  

On Wednesday, Hums elementary received 15 new Kindle Fires. Teachers there applied for through a donors program, which allows the community to donate as they see fit.

By next week the 4th graders who received these devices will be ready to work and present virtually.

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