EAST HANOVER, NJ- The summer of 2016 saw twelve teachers from varying academic departments within the Hanover Park Regional School District undertake a several day seminar on the incorporation of Chromebook technology into the classroom and their instruction. These teachers, known as vanguard teachers, are now Google Certified Instructors and have been recognized for their ability to take the classroom into the 21st century.
The demands of a modern workforce are continuing to grow and expand with the advent of new technologies. It is becoming more of a requirement for students leaving school to have an affinity with technology and the ability to utilize it in the workplace.
“Our concern is not one of statistics or flash,” said Stephanie Keat, Google Certified Instructor and Hanover Park Media Specialist, “but rather to change the way that education is happening in our schools, to prepare our students for the world and workplace of the 21st century.”
This push is designed to give students the extra tools to shine in the vital areas of creativity, collaboration, innovation and critical thinking and to help them do all of these things responsibly. These Chromebooks enable students to utilize entirely new methods of learning and expression that will make the 21st century classrooms more engaging and interactive than ever before. Students can pull up additional information or definitions of anything they find confusing with the touch of a button and can interact directly with their teachers through the computer while they work on their own assignments.
“We have been using these programs that enable the students to learn at their own pace,” said Lena Feldman, a math teacher and department coordinator for Whippany Park. “It gives us these practice problems where if the student selects answer A and its wrong, this is why it's wrong. It goes through those analyses with the students and they start to learn for themselves independently.”
These types of activities are not meant to replace classroom instruction and group work, but rather augment them. They enable teachers to not only help the students that raise their hand, but see into each student’s work while it is being done and offer advice. It helps each student learn at their own pace while not losing valuable instruction time during class to rehash older material.
“So far I absolutely adore them,” said Hanover Park chemistry teacher, Alec Levine. “I think they are a fantastic application that we can use to improve the student’s creativity and their ability to learn.”