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Beyond Pen and Paper

When you think of “Computer Class” you may think of keyboard and coding and other technical skills.  It’s true, those skills are appropriate and important, but in Hanover schools, they are just the beginning.  The real art and science of incorporating technology can be found in the integration of basic education skills that have always been taught and can now be complimented by the technology available.

Understanding the benefit of incorporating technology into classroom projects has been on full display in the 3rd and 4th grade classes at Lincoln Elementary School for several weeks. 

3rd graders at Lincoln Elementary have been doing a "My Community Map" project for nearly two decades.  Students are assigned a business or location around town to research and visit.  Students visit the locations, do interviews and take pictures and some are even fortunate enough to get insider tours.  They use the information they gather to create their own map.  For just the second time at Lincoln, however, students in Ms. Gacek, Mrs. Koontz, Mrs. Luna and Mrs. Perez’s classes used the “Google My Maps” technology tool as a part of the curriculum.  “It is such a great tool for any type of lesson that includes locations,” said Computer teacher, Debra Meekma.“  Students add the location to their personal maps and then create custom description and design custom map pins that are uniquely theirs.   “It just adds another layer to their learning beyond pen and paper,” added Mrs. Meekma.

girl on computer

Learning to add directions to a local business requires all of Eleanor Nevett's concentration.  

Third grade teachers acknowledge that Integrating technology with community projects is a great way for kids to gain a deeper understanding of the location and the importance of their businesses in our community.

cat dressed as hot dog

It's impressive and entertaining to see the unique map pins created by students, including this one designed by Madelyn Rayner for Corkys Dog House!

Not to be outdone by 3rd graders, students in Mrs. Cappas, Mrs. Delgado, Mrs. Myszkowski, and Mrs. Prowse’s 4th grade classes all created class books.  Each individual page is written by a student and as an informative writing project they cover a wide variety of topics.  From writing about the tricks they teach their bets to Isaac Newton’s laws of relativity, the subject matter is interesting, individualized and enhanced by the ability to add unique fonts, graphics and other computer-generated content.

boy at computer

Laughlin O'Neill works on his page for Mrs. Cappas' class book project.  

girl on computer

Addison Bonner includes her pet on her page for the class book.   

Books can be shared with parents through a simple link like the one below.

 Link to Mrs. Cappas' Class Book

As more classes and projects are blended with computer classes, the better prepared our elementary learners will be to meet the challenges of secondary education.  The preparation begins early, and the rewards will be enormous for our students.