The artful use of technology is a critical skill for all young people, whether they are entering university in Ottawa or starting grade one in their First Nation community. So, at the advent of this school year, southern partner Sylvia Da Rocha of St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville, Ontario flew to Sandy Lake to train teachers in the use of Smart Boards.

These innovative, interactive whiteboards can be used in a whole host of ways, from displaying calculators and puzzles to creating virtual, touch-sensitive musical instruments. You can draw an angle, and then use a virtual protractor to calculate it. You can display and modify art, or show video material.

Da Rocha ran four workshops for the teachers at both the elementary and high schools, with everyone getting involved in imagining different possibilities that might suit their subjects and grade levels.

Smart Boards are particularly helpful in schools with modest budgets because “if you don’t have certain resources in the class room,” Da Rocha says, “you can find them in the virtual world.”

We look forward to what the teachers and students dream up with this intriguing technology.

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