EMC Canada Tablet Donation Helps Toronto Schools Enhance Technology Curriculum and Chronicle Histories
EMC Canada announced earlier today the donation of 184 BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets to 23 elementary schools in the Toronto District School Board’s West Region family of schools. Grade 5 and 6 students, guided by teachers and librarians, will use the tablets to create multimedia projects based on their schools’ histories.
“Technology has the ability to empower both educators and students,” said Michael Sharun, Managing Director of EMC Canada. “It can encourage collaboration, improve learning and inspire imaginative minds. EMC Canada is proud to be able to make this donation to the TDSB.”
The schools began using the tablets in February and students will complete their projects by presenting to their schools’ student councils during Education Week, which runs from May 6 – 10.
“The response from schools and staff to the donation has been great,” said Tim Kamino, Vice Principal at Islington Junior Middle School. “They all wanted the opportunity to roll the tablets into their curriculum. It’s new technology for many of the students and teachers and they’re very excited about it.”
Technology is considered a critical pathway to teaching and learning in the West Region family of schools. All of the schools have a focus on technology and the tablets will enhance that part of the curriculum. Teachers will work with school librarians to show the students how to use the tablets to research the history of their schools and collect photos, data and articles.
The schools decided to focus on history projects because the tablets are an excellent tool for multimedia presentations. One of the schools in the West Region family, James S Bell, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in two years. Students will be able to use applications to download, store and manipulate photos, video and other material. Students will be able to incorporate a variety of material into their final presentations including stories, poems, photo journals, drama videos and animation videos.
For example, Islington Junior Middle School recently had a former student, now 80, return with a photo from 1948, when he attended the school. He spoke to a Grade 5 class about what it was like to attend the school six decades ago. The students shot video of his talk and will use it as part of their presentation. Once the projects are complete, they will be stored and displayed in each school’s library where they can be viewed by students and the public. Future classes will be able to expand the projects with their own presentations and research.
“We’re very interested to see what each school comes up with,” Kamino said. “We view this as an opportunity to push the students creativity and knowledge of technology. We also like the fact the projects are sustainable – the students’ research can be stored digitally and future classes can use the tablets to expand and complement the existing historical archive.”