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Technology Plays Major Role in Modern Classrooms [AUDIO]

photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

UNDATED – Today’s classrooms are a lot more high tech than the old days of blackboards and calculators.

Angie Kalthoff is the Technology Integrationist for the St. Cloud Area School District.  She says a modern classroom is equipped with Smartboards, which are much more interactive.

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Kalthoff says district students are also using ipads and ipods to enhance their learning experience.  For example, they’re using apps to help with their reading skills.  And Google docs are a way to share documents in the cloud, for teachers and students to share information without using paper.  Katlhoff says it’s all about engaging the students.

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Most teachers also have their own classroom websites now as well, so parents can keep track of what’s happening, although it’s up to each individual teacher how elaborate they want to be with their website.

The Sauk Rapids-Rice High School is in their fifth year of using a learning tool called “Moodle”.  In it’s simplest form it’s an online file cabinet.  But it’s also a grade book, an online classroom, and a way for students to go back and review lectures. 

John Lelwica is a science teacher at the school.  He says the way teachers are teaching is changing rapidly.

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Business teacher Anne Cameron says today’s classroom puts a lot more responsibility on the students.  For example, they have “flipped classrooms” where students get their initial instruction online, and then follow-up with questions for their teachers.  She says she sometimes sees her students once a week, and the rest of the communication is done online, similar to life after high school.

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Both Lelwica and Cameron say the parents they’ve talked to are embracing the new technology, because they’re able to track their children’s progress as well.

They are both online learning coaches for the district, which means they’re responsible for helping teach their fellow teachers the new programs.

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