“Students – put your pencils and papers away!” This is what deaf and hearing impaired students in Angel O’Rourke’s class at the John Powers Center in Vernon Hills were instructed in order to observe Digital Learning Day recently. Students were instructed to focus on learning through technology. This was the main goal for the day, but students also incorporated collaboration, personal learning, project-based learning, and virtual access to books and resources.
Students began the day with reading by using an app called “Edmodo”. This is a social learning platform for teachers and students. It was used to post questions about a story and the students would interact and answer the question collaboratively. This encourages technology and collaboration.
They also used technology to write letters. They were asked to write a letter to Principal Terri Nilson-Bugella. They even went a step further by submitting a “Principal of the Day” suggestion, which was very well received by Mrs. Nilson-Bugella, and the contest was opened to the entire school.
Promethean Boards and iPads were used for writing book reviews, working on fraction and number relationships, and social studies activities during the day. On a normal school day, students are finding the many uses of technology by using it often but this is the first time they made an effort to use nothing but technology.
Finally, students were given time to explore their iPads and find something new to share with the class. “After all, students are teachers too,” said Mrs. O’Rourke.
SEDOL is a special education joint agreement organized in 1960 to provide cooperative program planning, instructional programs, related services and professional staff development in order to assure an appropriate education for children with disabilities, from 3 to 22 years of age, residing within the boundaries of 35 participating school districts.