Kannapolis schools take part in Digital Learning Day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If you think third-graders can’t learn computer programming, you might want to think again. Computer programming was just one of the things elementary students did during Digital Learning Day in Kannapolis City Schools. Several Kannapolis schools took part in the nationwide event that was designed to help teachers and schools showcase successful instructional practices and effective use of technology in classrooms.
At Shady Brook Elementary, third-graders explored the basics of computer programming. They also used iPads to complete a Black History Month assignment using QR codes. Kindergartners at Shady Brook used Mimio interactive smart boards for math assignments, and first-graders listened to stories on iPods during reading instruction. At Jackson Park Elementary, teachers implemented a “no pencils zone.” Students used iPads, laptops, and other technology to do math, reading, and science lessons.
Jackson Park principal, Nick Carlascio, said his entire staff got excited about the idea.
“It was a big success,” he said. “Teachers and students were extremely engaged in learning, and I heard people say that it was the best day ever. The digital learning experience really energized learning and got everyone excited.”
At Forest Park Elementary, all grade levels took part in Digital Learning Day. The school tied the event with the 100th day of school and the topic of bullying. Teachers in lower grades used digital resources to teach math lessons centered on the 100th day of school while third and fourth grade teachers used technology to teach students about the dangers of bullying.
Digital Learning Day is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education and focuses on good teaching practices and using the tools of technology. Kannapolis City Schools has become a leader in helping teachers use technology effectively. The school system was one of only four districts that received back-to-back IMPACT technology grants that provided more than $4.1 million for installing technology and training teachers in the best ways to use technology to improve learning. In 2012, Governor Bev Purdue honored Kannapolis Middle School for winning the Innovator in Digital Learning Award. Kannapolis City Schools also have hundreds of iPads in classrooms thanks to grants from the Math Science Partnership and the Kannapolis Education Foundation.
Brenda McCombs, Kannapolis City Schools’ Director of Instructional Technology, says the response to Digital Learning Day has been extremely positive, and she expects even more district schools and teachers to take part next year.