By Bobinec, Greg on January 30, 2020.
Students at Winston Churchill High School can look forward to their new iPad station as part of their Reading Cafe offered to Grade 9 students through the Best Buy School Tech Grant.
Out of 260 applications, 15 schools across Canada have been awarded cash grants up to $10,000 each from Best Buy Canada, with recipients using the grants to integrate technology into the classroom. Winston Churchill will be using their $4,650 in grant money to pay for new iPads to give students another outlet for reading and learning.
“In Canada, we are lucky to have so many motivated students who want to use technology to enhance their lives,” says Karen Arsenault, Best Buy Canada’s Community Investment manager. “With the latest tech in their hands, students will be able to take on new projects and set goals that they’re passionate about. Through their own hard work and the guidance of teachers, they will be able to build a foundation of tech skills that will prepare them for their future.”
The purpose of the grant is to empower students through technology to make a difference in their community and gain skills needed for post-secondary education. Teachers at Winston Churchill say the iPad station should encourage more students to explore reading opportunities.
“Our school has a great licence with Sora, which allows students to check out eBooks and audio books,” says Lindsay Baird, language arts teacher at Churchill. “However, many students do not download the app to their phones for various reasons. Having an iPad station in my classroom that is strictly intended for using Sora would allow students to explore reading in many different forms. Students would be able to sign up to use a specific iPad for the time frame of their book checkout, and either use it to read an eBook or listen to an audio book.”
The tech grants from Best Buy Canada are designed to help improve or integrate technology in classrooms to advance student learning, which could be used for new technologies for libraries, special-needs programs and literacy programs. Baird says the iPads will be used for more than just reading, but also help them develop skills to help build themselves and the community.
“Students will not only be reading novels, but also developing the skills to talk about their favourite reads and to develop a community of readers within the building,” says Baird. “This course is very student-interest driven. Some students may feel more comfortable creating a reading journal for reflecting, while others may create a website to review their reads and other projects in between.”
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