Students learn with new technology

Students learn with new technology

WEINER, AR (KAIT) - Weiner Elementary School is one of 11 schools in Arkansas deemed a School of Innovation by the Arkansas Department of Education. With the title comes a new way of learning for students.

Students use technology to connect to other kids across the globe. Monday, sixth graders used Skype to talk to other students in Hungary.

JP Matthews said he didn't know much about Hungary until the lesson.

Matthews and Montana Shelley both sat in on the Skype session with Hungarian students.

"We learned that their way of life is a lot different than ours," Montana Shelley said. "Like they would eat different foods that we would never think of eating. It sounded pretty gross."

"They don't get to do as many things as we do because I don't think they get to use electronics as much," Matthews said.

Flags line the hallways of Weiner Elementary School to remind students there is a world beyond the small Poinsett County town. Similar lessons help teachers broaden the scope of a lesson through technology.

Shelley said the kids in Hungary have funny accents, but she figured they probably thought the same about her classmates.

"They probably think we talk funny and probably about our clothes too," Shelley said.

The Weiner Elementary School also uses SMART Boards and tablets. Students also use computers more than books.

"Usually schools meaning is to look up in books," Eden Bodeker, 4th grader, said. "It's like we are totally switching that around. Now we are going to use computers."

"I think if you look in a book it might take a while to find what you need, and if you just search it on a computer it will be way faster," said Sarah Wofford, a 4th grader.

Shelley and Matthews hope to Skype with more students across the globe.

"I think it helps that you know more about the world, where if you go anywhere you know what you are doing," Shelley said.

Some children said they love to come to school because of the technology. They said it keeps class work interesting and makes learning fun.

This year, students at Weiner Elementary joined the National Read Aloud program. Students read the same book and use an online blog to discuss it with the other classrooms across the country.

WES third graders are reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and discussing the book with students in New York on The two classrooms plan to Skype each other this week.

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