Wis. Schools Try to Keep Pace with Digital Evolution

Monday, February 13, 2012

The penguin caused a stir when it arrived last month. Teacher Sarah Halon told her first-graders at Washington Elementary School that if they wanted to keep the bird, they would have to learn how to care for it.

The "penguin" actually is a cute, plush penguin doll, but the kids' imaginations took over. Their quest to learn about penguins shows some of the ways that digital technologies are changing the way students learn across the grades in Janesville and to varying degrees across the state and nation.

When you think technology, don't think of a kid with a keyboard and a computer monitor. Think SMART Boards computing tablets such as the iPad.

Local schools in some ways are scratching the surface of the potential for a variety of new digital technologies, said Kathy Boguszewski, Janesville School District technology consultant.

Schools also are struggling with how to pay for the technology and for the training teachers need to use it, and how to give teachers the time to prepare digitally based lessons. "This is all so new, so do we want to be a trailblazer to make this happen in Janesville? There's a part of me that thinks we want to, to attract the kind of businesses we need in Janesville," Boguszewski said, adding that much depends on finding the money to do it.

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