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Technology Plays Pivotal Role In Classroom Learning
By Kera Mashek
February 5, 2014


CHARLESTON, W. Va. (Kera Mashek) Wednesday, February 5th is designated National Digital Learning Day. So across the country, schools are taking time to highlight the importance of technology in education.

In the library at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary in Charleston, a group of second graders gathered for a lesson Wednesday. But on this day, their classmates aren't just the kids they see everyday..

For digital learning day, students from grade schools in Raleigh, Mingo, and Harrison Counties all joined in for a live video conference lesson with West Virginia teacher of the year Erin Sponaugle from Berkeley County.
It's a demonstration of the power of technology to bring students from all over into one location to learn.

"It was a wonderful way to showcase what our teachers do everyday in our classrooms, just trying to use the technology that we have to extend student learning so that they can share with a global community," Sponaugle said.

"Some of our students don't get very far from home, so it's an opportunity to bring far away places to them so they have those opportunities and experiences that everyone needs to have," said Leah Sparks, Kanawha Co. Schools technology director.

Students Wednesday learned together about our state, and enjoyed the interactive way of learning..

"I thought that it was fun!" said second grader Makarah Beatty.

In classrooms around West Virginia, digital devices like i-Pads and web platforms are being used in all sorts of ways every day.

"You can post assignments and have students showcase their work, and engage in discussions in a safe, secure environment," said Sponaugle.

When kids are able to use technology, educators see results in how much students understand about subjects they're studying, and even the scores they get on homework and tests,

"Technology really helps to engage students in learning and helps them make learning their own, and when they're engaged they learn so much more," Sparks said.

That engagement in learning is why Kanawha County schools are expanding the availability of i-Pads in classrooms. The district also emphasizes project-based learning with videos and presentations, and some teachers even incorporate discussions with subject experts from around the globe through FaceTime and Skype. And of course, the ways and kinds of technology in the classroom will only continue to grow in the future.

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