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August 30, 2011 05:03 PM

Smart Table Helping St. Michael Students Learn


Technology has been taking over classrooms all over KELOLAND.  Now, St. Michael Elementary School is incorporating yet another new high tech tool.

Using their fingertips to answer, four St. Michael Elementary students are working together to come up with a solution for a mathematical equation.

"You can touch it like an iPhone or an iPad," student Deja Vu said.

Students of all grade levels are demonstrating how the school's new interactive Smart Table works.

"You try to figure out the right question," student Jake Bain said.

The high tech learning center on wheels is similar to a smart board. Students follow audio and text instructions to solve problems. It can be used by up to eight students at a time, forcing them to work closely together.

"They can bounce ideas off of each other and they can also put all of their ideas into one, what they think, and compare it to another," instructor Alyssa Hansen said.

Hansen teaches Jumpstart at St. Michael, and says the new teaching tool has a variety of educational applications, along with games, fusing learning with fun.

"It's pretty cool," Bain said.

The Smart Table can be used in different classrooms because it can be set from pre-school all the way up to sixth grade.

"You can personalize it, create your own to meet the individual needs of your students, as well as using whole class ones," Hansen said.

Teachers will also be able to use it to assess students, and find out what areas they need help in.

"For teachers it gives us a chance to see how that student is thinking, what their thought process is, and compare it to another one so we know what kind of learners they are, and how we can meet their individual needs," Hansen said.

Right now the Smart Table is mainly being used by the Jumpstart class, academic services and some kindergarten classrooms.

Teachers say they're still getting used to the new technology, and hope to learn more about what it's capable of throughout the year.
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