Principal Robert Smith and his staff of 12 teachers are using a number of software programmes to track exam grades, attendance and other key statistics as well as to communicate with parents of students of the school.
“As a school we have looked at technology impacting every aspect of learning development”, said Mr. Smith, now in his third year as principal at the school located in Hannah Town, Kingston.
Areas in which technology is used at Chetolah Park include:
- Data trend analysis in which teachers document tests using spreadsheet. This data is made available for the students’ future class teachers, so they can identify strengths and weaknesses among students in advance
- Literacy and numeracy components of the syllabus, enabling teachers to map the progress of students and to customize lessons for them
- Communicating with parents – messages are sent to parents by emails on their tablet, or to parents who have internet access on their devices
Mr. Smith says parents are pleased that their school received the tablets, but he is asking that they help their children in using the devices to further their education.
“The community members are excited to know that their school was selected. However some persons are not cognizant that the tablets are for education and not for profiling by the adults. We have to be reminding the parents that the students must be given the tablets to take to school”, Mr. Smith said.
Areas in which parents can assist their students include:
- Picking up their small children from school on days when they have the tablet, or asking a responsible adult to pick them up. This would reduce the possibility of damage to tablets
- Assisting students to search for educational videos on YouTube
- Helping students develop online research skills
- Using online dictionaries to find synonyms for words so they can widen their vocabulary.
Concerning the impact of the TIS on the school, Mr. Smith says more time is needed to determine this.
“It is very early to comment on the impact in terms of performance our students. Definitely the interest level of our students has increased. Parents may now consider sending children to our school more because we are technologically driven and the students have the resources to aid in the educational process.”