Athlos Academies: Putting technology in students’ hands

Athlos Academies: Putting Technology in students’ hands

Athlos schools prioritize student access to knowledge by incorporating technology as a classroom learning tool.

Technology can open many doors to knowledge and innovative ideas for students; however, it’s not the technology itself that improves student learning, but how teachers and students utilize it in the classroom setting.

Technology in the classroom enhances learning and fosters innovation.

Teacher using tv to teachAt Athlos schools, technology is more than just another classroom tool, it enhances learning by providing students with the ability to more easily research answers, collaborate as teams, and clearly present their ideas to others. This provides students with the competitive edge needed for a successful future.

“Technology is present everywhere on campus,” said Annette Hoersting, the media specialist and technology coordinator at Athlos Academy of Jefferson Parish in Louisiana. “Our computer lab ensures students are consistently receiving iReady minutes for intervention. The teachers check out laptops to use in the classrooms for projects, centers, and assignments.”

Laptops, tablets, and smart TVs in these classrooms are strategically used according to the needs of the lesson materials.

“The most commonly used technologies are the laptops, because they are so versatile,” Hoersting said. “Teachers have been really consistent about logging in minutes with our intervention programs, and have assigned independent research projects, played rounds of Kahoot!, and a myriad of different lessons in their classrooms.”

Athlos schools also strive to ensure high-speed internet connections, updated software, and maintained hardware to avoid hindering student learning.

What difference does technology make in the classroom?

Technology samples

Research shows that when implemented properly, classroom technology can produce significant results in student achievement and engagement. These products not only works as tools for student engagement, but also helps teachers better track teaching materials and data on student progress.

“Having technology in the classes is a great tool to enhance the lessons our teachers present to the scholars,” said Hoersting. “We’ve seen a massive improvement, specifically from our kindergarten scholars and our amazing kindergarten teachers who use both computer lab time and personal classroom time to incorporate iReady into their schedule.”

Instead of the usual memorization and multiple-choice questions, students are immersed in interactive technology where teachers incorporate instruction to explain concepts and stimulate student discussion.

“At the beginning of the year, only about a third of these scholars were on or above grade level,” said Hoersting. “…And because of their consistent usage of the technology as an accompaniment to their lessons, the number of scholars nearly tripled by our mid-year assessment.”

Technology provides students a competitive edge needed for a successful future.

Student with tabletThough the percentage of children with access to a home computer or tablet has risen, not every child has internet readily available to them outside the classroom. By putting these technologies into the hands of educators and students, we are offering opportunities to learn that otherwise wouldn’t be available at home.

“On top of providing intervention and assignments, our scholars from kindergarten to sixth grade are getting hands on practice with computers, meaning, as technology becomes more prevalent in future education or career locations, our students will have the experience to jump right in,” said Hoersting.

Alongside preparing students for future educational and career opportunities, the use of these tools also expands learning opportunities for students who learn differently than others.

“Our students with special needs are able to have a kinesthetic aspect in their learning by using both computers and tablets in the classes, which is very helpful for scholars who learn more successfully with a tactile approach,” said Hoersting.

When used properly, technology enhances academic achievement.

Students today have been born into a world full of technology and mass communication that can be entertaining and distracting. As educators become more familiar with using technology as a classroom aid, students subliminally learn to view it as a tool that can focus their learning.

The more educators learn how to incorporate these tools into student learning, the more ready our students will be to research and record data, collaborate and work with others, and become innovative problem solvers.

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