Principals win top honours, $20K from Samsung for tech in classrooms
Published Wednesday, February 26, 2014 12:08PM EST
Whenever students at Mirella Rossi's Toronto elementary school wanted to use technology to help them learn, they had to leave their classroom and go to the school's computer lab.
But Rossi, the principal at Precious Blood Catholic School, won an award that brings additional funding for technology to the classroom.
Rossi was one of 40 teachers across Canada awarded The Learning Partnership's Outstanding Principals award Tuesday in Toronto.
In addition to the recognition, recipient principals are receiving $20,000 each for their schools through Samsung's “Solve for Tomorrow” technology grant.
Rossi says the grant will “allow access to resources that we currently don't have.”
Now, students will be able to work on math problems together using digital educational sharing tools, or go outside to capture pictures of tree log rings to tell the age of the tree.
She says students will be able to benefit from having tablets right in their classrooms, rather than the archaic notion of using a separate room in the building.
“The students needed to physically move to the computer,” Rossi says. “The whole notion moving forward I think is this integrative knowledge, where the students have access, ready access, to technology to help support their learning.”
For example, students in a physics class can wirelessly share their screens with others to collaborate on math problems – or the teacher can send one student's “page” to a screen to show others how a problem was solved.
Since many students are familiar with how to use their own smartphone or a tablet, Samsung Canada's Philippe Lozier, director of business solutions, says it's not difficult to integrate these tools into the classroom.
“The learning curve is so fast for students. They're in that world already,” he says.
While some teachers may not be as familiar with the latest tablets some kids will be using in the classroom, Rossi says the grant will also help educate staff members as well.
“We want to implement some reverse mentoring, where students who are efficient will be able to help some of our teachers have a level of comfort using these technologies, so this will certainly help in this,” she says.