ELKO – Barrick recently helped fulfill teacher Christy DeBray and Principal Sean Stanton’s vision of bringing technology-enabled lessons into Grammar No. 2 classrooms. The company provided funding for the purchase of 32 Dell Chromebooks and a storage cart.
“Incorporating the Chromebooks has changed classroom dynamics and provided a more interactive learning environment,” DeBray said. “I’ve noticed increased enthusiasm, excitement and class participation. The students are not only learning and teaching one another but they’re even teaching me a thing or two.”
The Chromebooks were delivered Jan. 4 and are now used to support interactive learning for 67 second-grade students in three classrooms.
DeBray spearheaded the school’s grant request for the technology, citing the need to boost her student’s exposure to digital learning. Second-graders are allotted one day per week in the school’s primary computer lab. The limited amount of time makes it difficult for teachers to properly execute computer-based lesson plans because the kids tend to struggle with computer basics and quickly lose focus. The Chromebooks give the students an opportunity to develop the basic computer knowledge and navigational skills needed to make their time in the computer lab more productive.
“Supporting students and teachers in our community is critical to Barrick. These students are the children of our current workforce – who want the best for their kids’ education.” said Rebecca Darling, director of corporate social responsibility for Barrick. “And we are counting on some of today’s second graders to be our workforce in the future. We will need tech savvy people and we want to contribute to the efforts to get them there.”
The technology is also benefiting teachers because it streamlines the testing process and allows teachers to immediately review test scores and spend more time with students who may be struggling with a particular subject.
“The technology provides great versatility, allowing students to learn as a group or at their own pace,” Stanton said.
Although the Chromebooks are mainly used for reading and math programs right now, Grammar No. 2 plans to add a science program, social studies program and an advanced keyboarding course in the future. Teachers hope that the Chromebooks will increase the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing scores while providing students a solid foundation and confidence with technology.