The Iola-Scandinavia School District has received a $15,000 grant to purchase Smart Table Learning Centers.
“Anytime there is an opportunity to acquire funds for student opportunities in our schools, we jump at the chance,” said District Administrator David Dyb, who wrote the grant application.
The touch-screen devices will be available to the I-S kindergarten classes this spring.
“We are very excited,” said kindergarten teacher Rhonda Fechter. “It’s an exciting tool that will definitely expand the learning in the classroom”
The Smart Tables are designed for early learners to assist in their development of literacy, math and problem solving skills. While the hands-on learning device may be used for up to eight children to learn together simultaneously, thereby developing teamwork skills, it may also be used for guided independent learning.
According to Smart Technologies: “The intuitive multi-touch surface makes children feel like they’re playing, so small group collaboration occurs naturally.”
“We are excited to see the possibilities and how they will enhance our kindergarten classrooms,” Dyb said.
The Innovative School Grant is from the Wisconsin Technology Initiative (WTI), with funding provided by the Transforming Our State of Classrooms (TOSA) Foundation.
The TOSA goals include increasing student achievement and engagement with the use of interactive technologies such as white boards, software and related peripherals.
The district is responsible for matching 10 percent of the WTI grant. The district’s $1,500 will be utilized for ongoing professional development and training for the three kindergarten teachers.
Each Smart Table costs about $6,000, but the district may purchase them with its educational discount for about $4,999 each.
“It will be a great addition to our classrooms,” said Elementary Principal Tess Lecy-Wojcik.