I have a curious set of diverse students who are eager to learn and explore new topics. Unfortunately, disengagement has become something of a common denominator across our school district over the last few years and more than half of students in our school are from low-income families. We have found that starting as early as elementary school, it has become increasingly difficult to get children to school on a regular basis. Many of my students are attending less than 85% of school days. In spite of this, the student’s energy inspires me to create meaningful and memorable lessons across the curriculum. The activities that we complete, both in and out of the classroom, are also greatly restricted by the socioeconomic makeup of our student body, as well as the absence of a budget for technology in our 5th-grade classroom.
We are all educating our children to succeed in a world where technology drives critical thinking, creativity, instruction, and collaboration.
As teachers, we can prepare students for jobs that have yet to be invented. The students themselves are very willing to work in school and take the opportunity to utilize the limited resources that are available.
My kids are clamoring for more access to computers and technology. As a whole class, I am seeing students failing multiple classes both from absenteeism and disinterest in the subject areas. The students are attending less and less days and it is affecting the way they are learning and how I am teaching. They find it hard to be motivated or attend class on a daily basis. One way I have found to reach out to this population of disengaged students is using technology in the form of Chromebooks. However, with this resource, I have found the students becoming increasingly frustrated when finding the computers without power. In addition, I struggle to find a safe place to store them. With our current school budget, we can't seem to close the digital divide for our financially challenged students who need to be confident in the latest advancements technology can offer.
When students have access to Chromebooks, they can take charge of their own learning as long as those computers are actually charged and ready to go.
The students have been able to work at their own pace using the Chromebooks donated so far on such a large variety of research projects. These devices that will be charged up from the cart will be specifically used for students who are failing one or more class or that have had increased absenteeism. My hope is that they will become more and more excited to come to school when they know we are able to use these Chromebooks every day! I want my classroom to be a safe and inviting place to learn and explore new ideas and the Chromebooks and charging cart will only enhance this.
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