$20,000 allows Elm Street Elementary to add computers for students

By Dylan DesRoche

Oct. 9th, 2015

Tracy Beaulieu knew exactly how to spend the $20,000 when the cheque arrived.

Beaulieu is principal of Elm Street Elementary in Summerside, one of 40 Canadian schools that received $20,000 last year to purchase new technology for students.

The school purchased over 50 new mini-laptops, called chrome books, to help students with reading and writing. The funding came as part of a study by The Learning Partnership on how technology affects students learning.

The laptops not only help students with reading and writing, they really make a difference when it comes to student engagement, said Beaulieu.

“When I would walk into the classes with the chrome books all sitting on desks, those kids were all really engaged.”

It’s nice to see students engaged,but that isn’t the only goal of the program. The school also wants to prepare students for a technology driven future, said Beaulieu

“Technology is the future, and we have to be educating the kids at a really young age on how to use it appropriately. I think that the earlier we teach children these skills, the better equipped they will be.”

Over the last year, the 40 schools across Canada participated in surveys to gauge how much impact the new technology has. School leaders, teachers, students and parents were all surveyed and the results were promising.

Nearly all of teachers and surveyed, 99 per-cent, believed the technology enhanced their teaching and their students’ ability to learn. Results also showed an increase in engagement, with 86 per-cent students participating in the classroom and a large increase in student development.

Gerry Connelly is the director of research with The Learning Partnership. He is happy with the results.

“This report demonstrates a transformation in teaching and learning across Canada and that is good news for everybody.”