Middletown City Schools has recently been selected to join the League of Innovative Schools, a scheme with a mission to create opportunities for all to learn through technology and innovation in education. In addition, Middletown High School has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation, and there have been great changes made in how Middletown approaches learning. With a desire to continue these improvements, one of the Directors of Students Services joined 50 school administrators in Ohio to view successful models of learning experiences currently underway in other school districts. By increasing the use of digital media in curriculum, schools are seeing better engagement between students and teachers, and this is leading to progress in learning for children of all abilities.
Using Technology in the Classroom
Middletown’s Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners sees technology as an important component of teaching. The introduction of digital resources at any school allows students to gain access to information from technology, while at the same time improving their technical skills. For children who are non-verbal or who have problems with coordination, using portable hand-held technology can make learning and communicating with others much easier, as different means of interaction with devices such as tapping or swiping are accessible to all.
Learning from Games
Children at Macdonough Elementary School have been practicing new paths to learning by taking part in computer programming sessions. By using games to learn how to create basic code, kids can improve their problem-solving techniques and pick up other skills useful for all STEM subjects. The games are already familiar to most kids and, even on their own, certain games can be a useful teaching tool and motivator for learning. Puzzles and quizzes are engaging and easy to manipulate, so are especially useful for children who find it difficult to concentrate or follow traditional teacher-led classes.
Project-based learning is another dynamic classroom approach that leaves behind traditional rote learning and paper-based teaching. Ohio State students can now take a course that incorporates technology, but takes it beyond the classroom and combines learning with real life experiences in the local community. This style of active and inquiry-based learning encourages students to use multiple learning techniques such as research, practical experiments and general deduction, and can improve their social skills, as all these methods benefit from increased communication and teamwork.
Middletown is celebrating developments and improvements at its schools, and is now at the forefront of teaching in a digital age. Embracing technology and the alternative methods of teaching that it enhances will help children of all abilities across the city to achieve more in the classroom.
Author: Jennifer Gallows