Loaned MacBooks enhances school’s focus on multiple pathways to learning
The loan of Apple Canada technology to Dundas Calvin Christian School is encouraging students to communicate through different media, moving forward the school’s focus to increase the number of pathways students have to learn.
Principal Rick Dykstra says he knew about Apple’s education program, where kits of MacBooks are loaned to schools that may be interested in laptops. A teacher from Apple visits the school to show teachers and students how to use the software.
Grade 6, 7 and 8 students used the 10 computers, along with a digital camera and digital video recorder, to complement projects within their curriculum.
“We wanted to take something that was already in the curriculum and just find a different medium from which to work with,” says Dykstra.
The school had the technology from Christmas break to mid-February. Students were shown how to use GarageBand and iMovie, which are two programs that come with the MacBook.
Podcast projects focused on the writing process and how to communicate an idea through the technology. Students worked in small groups to generate ideas, gather research, write scripts, create storyboards and gather needed materials. They then would film, edit and publish the podcasts.
The podcast topics include the solar system, character sketches and movie trailers for a novel study.
“Students were eagerly engaged in active learning that often extended into break times, lunch times, before and after school, and even at home,” says Dykstra, adding he enjoyed the many visits students made to his office to borrow equipment or seek assistance.
A selection of the podcasts are available to view on the school’s website. The Grade 8 students were asked to produce an item promoting the school, which Dykstra says he has already been able to use with prospective families.
“I was very proud of the results that are coming in,” he says.
There has been only good feedback, adds Dykstra, with many parents calling or e-mailing that their child is excited about using the technology.
Dykstra invites other OACS schools interested to learn how to get involved in the Apple Canada program to contact him at rdykstra(at)dccs.ca.