Living through the devastating experience of Superstorm Sandy has inspired my students to become proactive members of the Restore the Shore movement. I want them to use iPads to perform tidal and dune analysis at our shores while blogging about recovery efforts. Involvement will help them heal.
Imagine being only ten years old and watching as a storm surge rips through your home, tearing away your life's memories.
Many of my students are now living in temporary houses, on the second floor of badly damaged homes, or in neighborhoods that still reflect the powerful destruction of Hurricane Sandy. These kids are a group of extremely diverse, hardworking 5th graders, who saw their community devastated by the storm. My classroom is composed of ESL students, special education students, general education students, and students who received gifted and talented services. A majority of my students come from economically disadvantaged homes. For many of them, school is the only place where they have access to any type of educational technology.
In a school where one computer cart is shared among 10 classrooms, providing my students exposure to 21st century educational tools is an arduous task. In limiting the amount of time students can access computers, we are limiting the amount of creativity and independent learning happening in the classroom. By offering each child an iPad, students will become familiar with the tools that are used outside of the classroom to solve real-world problems. Students will have a mobile lab that can accompany them in the field to conduct experiments and other research, as well as a useful device to create virtual documentaries detailing Hurricane Sandy's effects. The knowledge of how to effectively use iPads will open many doors for my students that would otherwise remain closed.
The pictures on the television of Hurricane Sandy's devastation will never allow you to feel the terror my students experienced the night of October 29, 2012.
They sat huddled together with their families in the dark, praying for the crashing of trees and shattering of windows to end. This experience has inspired us to learn from past mistakes, and has provided a platform from which my students can be part of the restoration process.Read More
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