"Why are we the only fifth graders without iPads?" is a question that breaks my heart. Although our school has run out of funds, I believe that my students still deserve to have access to the same technology that other fifth graders in our school do.
My students are enthusiastic, fifth grade, English Language Learners, in a Title I school, that crave the integration of technology into their everyday learning.
They are considered at risk students, because of their low social economic status and because they are limited in their English proficiency. However, they are extremely bright students with dreams and aspirations of one day becoming the first in their family to graduate from college.
Our school is focused on providing a learner centered platform. Most of our learning is managed through project based learning, which requires that our students conduct a variety of research and encourages the development of critical thinking skills, collaboration, creativity, and communication. These are all skills that we believe 21st century learners must possess. Through the use of iPads, students would have a variety of resources readily available at their fingertips. Besides having quick access to the Internet, students would have hundreds of educational apps available to them. I often give students a variety of choice in their final project product presentation. The availability of iPads would only multiply their choice and creativity through apps such as keynote, live binder, word press, and many others. In addition, our collaboration efforts with other students nationwide would increase through quick access to skype, email, and similar resources.
Like a parent, teachers want what is best for their students.
At risk students require all of the resources possible that can be placed at their fingertips. As their teacher, my job is to work to do exactly that. As my students, they know that they are responsible to put their best foot forward, as they walk in my classroom every day. Therefore, the combination of up to date technology and students that are ready, and willing to learn, is a win-win situation for our future.
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