BEAVER LOCAL, Ohio (WYTV) – Although Beaver Local schools are close to a lot of farmland, their new state-of-the-art school building has technology just about everywhere.
The school district is wrapping up its first year in the new technology driven building.
One of its goals is to have an iPad for every student, and most students are using them in the classroom five days a week. The technology allows more interactivity between a student and teacher. It’s also another way for teachers to assess what a student is learning and their progress.
“Still, the most important piece is the teacher and how they use the content and device to provide that information,” said Eric Lowe, principal of Beaver Local Middle School.
The tech upgrades have caught the attention of the state. The Ohio Facilities Commission is touring the school on Tuesday, meaning it could be a flagship for the entire state of Ohio when it comes to technology.
“I used to always say in the old buildings they were built for an analog world, and our kids are going to grow up in the digital world,” said Louis Ramunno, superintendent of Beaver Local schools.
Every classroom has an Apple TV, giving teachers the ability to actually pull up what a student is doing on their iPad for everyone to see, and they can also instantly send feedback.
IPads also give students the ability to show they’ve mastered a lesson in a different way.
“Through creating movies maybe with the content they learned in class. Maybe it’s like creating a slideshow,” Lowe said.
The digital component is a big part of the classroom, but there’s still traditional teaching going on.
“The standards are still the standards. Your basics are still the basics, they’re still taught,” Ramunno said.
For the district it’s about 21st century learning, creating new opportunities to train the next generation.
“You give them a magazine, you give them a book or something and they try to make it move at the earliest ages because they’re used to seeing everything, and in their world that’s what they’re used to,” Lowe said.
Lowe co-authored a book called, “Your School Rocks.” It’s a resource for educators, specifically on using social media to reach kids and their parents. One example, instead of a writing a newsletter, create a video to let parents know what’s going on.
The school district is also looking at ways to use the new school as a resource for the entire community.