To show legislators how classroom technology has improved their learning, students designed various projects in preparation for their visit to the state capitol. The team from Haines Elementary, for example, used Google Draw to create “Blending Learning, Building Homeless Shelters” – a blueprint for a portable homeless shelter that could withstand Chicago’s brutal winters.
“There are not many books about how to build a homeless shelter”, said Jiayin, an 8th-grader at Haines. “So without technology, we would not have been able to do our research and complete this project.”
Several CPS teachers, including Richards Career Academy’s Kimber Freeman-Barrera, also made the trip to Springfield, eager to share with state legislators the impact technology has had on their classrooms.
“Using digital notebooks has become an essential communication tool in my class,” said Freeman-Barrera, an ESL instructor. “Thanks to these resources, I’m able to instantly translate phrases into multiple languages at a moment's notice.”
Teachers also pointed out that with technology in the classroom, they can see a student’s work instantly and provide timely, individualized feedback. While the professionals focused on how technology helps them teach, their students, many of whom had never been to Springfield, took this unique opportunity to share how access to these resources is helping them develop not only the skills they need to compete in a 21st-Century economy, but the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are crucial to success in whatever field they choose.