Schools have come a long way from chalkboards and the abacus, and now, thanks to a unique technology club, students at Isabella Dicken Elementary School are learning how to make their own podcasts and digital comic strips.
“You can show an adult how to use a program like Bitstrips and it could take them a week to learn it, but these kids have it within 30 seconds,” said Aerin Guy, the creator of the IDES technology club. “They are wired differently than we are. We get so much accomplished in the club with them.”
Guy said that she is trying to make sure what the students are learning in the technology club goes along with the school curriculum.
The grades 2 and 3 students that are part of the club are learning about kindness so Guy is having their comic strips match this theme.
As a web consultant, Guy is online all the time, but it was her daughter Scarlet that inspired her to start the technology club.
“She is my inspiration. She’s a Mac wiz at the age of eight,” she said.
Guy said that her daughter has been a student at some schools where she didn’t have access to the technology and programs that IDES has.
“The kids are super keen to do it, and they want to have the experience. They are living in a digital world, and I think it’s important that their school life isn’t completely separate from the real world,” she said.
The technology club has been up and running for two weeks, and happens Wednesdays at lunchtime.
The students are working in pairs so that the more tech savvy kids can be paired with those who have less experience.
“Fernie is small and there is a very active parent council. When I talked to Dawn Voysey she was able to get it started right away, and there wasn’t a lot of red tape,” said Guy.
The students will be finishing up their Bitstrips in the next two weeks, and then Guy is planning to get them started on voice threads so that they can create their own audio podcasts.