Referendum dollars continue to boost technology in the schools every year

    Highland School third graders are getting high-tech with their new iPads and Smart Board.

    During a visit to the school by the Times on Thursday, teacher Kim Davidson sat down with her third grade class and asked them what their new technology is used for. The third graders had many answers…they do research, write on their blog sites, play math games, read online books of their choice, work on spelling, and much more.

    Davidson says the kids each have their own blog on “Kidblog” that they are assigned to write on once a week. The third graders are allowed to write on a topic of their choice and have access to do so at home.

    “I can read the blogs and then I will understand what each needs to work on.” Davidson explained.

    Ben Capistran showed his recent blog where he posted pictures of his new house being built and wrote about the progress.  His classmates, parents, and teacher all have access to read Ben’s blog and can comment on what he shares.

    The third graders also use a website called Epic to read books of their choice.  Also, each week kids are assigned to use the Smart Board and answer a 20-question segment to help them with literature. In addition, “ABC” is a website used to play math games, and “Seesaw” is a website the kids all use to post their spelling lists, videos of themselves doing probability tests for the bottle flip, and other class activities.

    On Google Classroom the third graders do a “Mystery Hangout” where they meet with another class in another state and try to figure out what state they live in by asking questions to improve their geography skills. They ask questions such as, do you border another country? Are you in the Central time zone? Are you east or west of the Mississippi River?

    The third graders do a lot of learning and practicing on the iPads which aids Davidson as she helps students who may need more attention in a certain subject.  

    All three public schools continue to be enhanced by influxes of new technology thanks to a voter-approved referendum several years ago, after which the Crookston School Board committed to spending $100,000 to $200,000 a year on technology upgrades. Davidson attended a recent board meeting to tell board members how much she and her colleagues appreciate the technological investments.

    (Managing Editor Mike Christopherson contributed some information to this story.)