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Some high-tech learnin' at area schools

Those of us who went to elementary or secondary school years ago wouldn’t recognize the classroom of today.

Those of us who went to elementary or secondary school years ago wouldn’t recognize the classroom of today.

Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) trustees, at their monthly Board meeting Wednesday, were shown the increasing use of technology in the classroom by teachers who use the computerized Learning Management System (LMS) to instruct and work with their students.

Teachers Lorenzo DiCerbo, Ted McKinney and Mary Pedatella gave an LMS update to Board trustees.

The decision to use LMS in a classroom begins with the teacher who wishes to use the system in his/her classroom.

Once that decision is made, students are also eager to use the system, and parents are generally excited about this new method being used by their children in the 21st-century classroom.

Teachers begin lessons using traditional methods and then refer their students, equipped with classroom computers, to the LMS system. 

There, students can access on-line guides to help them complete their assignments. 

The equivalent of many textbooks can be stored on one tablet.

Assignments are then sent to the inbox on the teacher’s computer and graded, then sent back to the students.

Students at home can access information 24 hours a day with LMS, which is helpful to students who are absent from the classroom for an extended period of time.

Students can access information, such as their grades, or when assignments are due, at anytime through computers or a smart phone.

Instructors told the Board LMS is inspiring students who were once “disengaged” to get into their studies.

This is the second year the Huron-Superior Board had used LMS in its’ schools.

In 2011-2012, there was a 250 percent increase in the number of HSCDSB teachers and students using LMS. 

About 20 percent of the Board’s students are using the system.

Teacher Ted McKinney told LMS gives an instructor more breathing space.

“The traditional classroom teacher was always on the spot. While a student is engaged in LMS activities, that frees me up to assist other students.”

McKinney told us: “The parents are really on board with this. They want this system used. If they can get their children to use this for a few years before they get to university, it would be of great benefit.”

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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