Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s Learning Alternatives school will have more tech for teaching.
The school received a $8,450 cheque this week through the Best Buy School General Tech Grant program.
Teacher Lacey Daly, one of five staff contributing to the application, said she jumped at the opportunity to add more technology. She was grateful for the money, which will go toward iPads and assisted technology applications. Students will help plan how the money is allocated.
“We have great relationships with a lot of our seniors and they’re going to be on the ground,” said Daly. “I’d like to take them to buy the iPads to help me decide how to use them, what’s the best way to actually use them in the classroom, and have them kind of be the lead on it.”
“Right now Lacey’s organized it so some of our students have the opportunity to do some project-based learning,” said Brett Hancock, school principal. “It was presented today, the cheque, and they’re going to review what Best Buy offers and what’s the most important purchase to make … they can work at some real-life math skills, as to how it should be spent, how we’ll position it.”
Hancock said the school offers project-based learning, allowing students to combine different classes into a larger project. Staff are trying to give students more skills for a 21st-century workplace and technology was an area that was lacking, he said.
“So this will look to advance our blogs that take place; we will be continuing our podcasts … We have a new music program, so it will allow our students to do some sound and recording and some music videos,” Hancock said. “It’ll allow our students, through their career life education and career life connection courses, to build a positive digital portfolio of what they can offer the community and it allows them the opportunity to explore the impact of their digital footprint.”
Daly said the iPads will only be a tool in learning and the school strives for personalized programming.
“Every student comes with their own unique set of skills,” said Daly. “Our goal is to highlight what their strengths are and program around that and technology will just be an aid in that.”
According to a press release, Learning Alternatives was one of 15 secondary schools selected from 260 applications. A total of $117,877 was donated by Best Buy Canada, the press release said.