What’s Working: Technology in Clinton classrooms

CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) — Whether we like it or not, most children spend hours each day connected to the world-wide web. Students at Eastside Elementary in Clinton are safely navigating the Internet and learning like never before.

Teaching school has come a long way since blackboards and the occasional overhead projector. These days children are learning at 4G speed.

A few years ago, schools in Clinton committed to going 1-to-1. That means there is either an iPad or Macbook for every child in the district.

Lesson One, online safety.

“Because there is so much out on the Internet, we do teach children to not share their personal information online, to make sure they are going to the correct sites, and what to do when they enter a site that is not a good site,” said Principal Cindy Hamil.

There are plenty of good sites out there. Eastside is in year three of a five-year contract with Nearpod.

“And the fun thing about Nearpod is that teachers can make the lessons on their own. You know, they can pull up a lesson, and if they don’t like something, and if they want to add something, they can do that to those lessons. They have total control over what their students are learning,” Principal Hamil said.

“I love having our Math textbook online. Our kids can zoom in on the problem. I don’t have to worry about drinks spilling on the textbook and ruining the textbook. We can wipe off the iPad real quick, and it’s fine,” said fourth grade Math and Science teacher Marcy McDonald says,

Students seem to like the screens.

“That you can see and work out stuff that you can’t really do on paper,” Fourth-grader Hunter Cannon tells us. “Language, Vocabulary, Math, Science.”

The computers bring subjects to life in ways textbooks never could. Video of places and experiments. It also makes learning more efficient.
“So, it’s an automatic turnaround,” McDonald said. “The kids have instant feedback. They know what they’ve missed (and) why they missed it. We can go over it right there at my desk, and I don’t have to take things home on the weekend.”

“Students are used to having a device in their hands. When they go home, they have a device in their hands, so it’s important for us to keep them engaged and keep them interested in learning,” Principal Hamil said.

She said this only the beginning. Technology in the classroom is just going to get more interactive.

Students in sixth grade and up in the Clinton School District get to take their devices home each day.

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