Technology part of day in Lake Forest schools
Emily Chow, 10, (left) and Kailey Albus, 10, work with their teacher Catherine Sheehan at Everett School using iPads. The district governing the school may see new faces after April 9. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
District 67 technology officials list these as ways to help students incorporate technology in their learning.
Ask questions: Ask your student what he or she is doing with the classroom iPads or other devices. Asking specific questions will help generate technology conversations, says Judith Epcke, District 67’s director of instructional technology.
Monitor screen time: “As a parent, you have a right to limit your student’s screen time,” Epcke said.
Filter: “The best filter is you,” Epcke said. “Make sure your student is using devices in your sight, in the same room.”
Set requirements: Require that the child’s device(s) be charged in the kitchen overnight and not in his or her room.
Turn off web ability: Younger children don’t need to have their own web access.
Work together: Search sites online with your child, Skype with a cousin together or create a vacation journal that you post in together.
Reach out: If you have any questions about technology, contact your child’s teacher, the school librarian, a district tech coach (Amy Lamberti, Laura Montgomery or Emily Steffen) or Epcke.
Updated: February 4, 2013 11:44AM
LAKE FOREST — As students touch screens and keyboards more than pens these days, District 67 continues to put an emphasis on technology.
District officials note that technology is not being updated and implemented simply for technology’s sake, but so youth have information and teaching tools at their disposal when they need them.
Lake Forest and Lake Bluff students as young as 8 and 9 years old are using Google Apps for classroom work. Judith Epcke, District 67’s director of instructional technology, noted that one young student used Google Apps from home to create a survey about Girl Scout cookie sales that she forwarded to all teachers at her school.
“That she was able to do all that from home shows that our efforts (in technology) are worthwhile,” Epcke said.
Being in a world of instantaneous information has its benefits and issues. Epcke said the district continues to ensure information is available to students, but also that students are kept safe. She noted that although District 67 students all have Google accounts, no students are able to send e-mails to anyone outside of their school.
District personnel continue working on implementing technology adopted in the district’s 2020 Vision Framework, she said.
District 67 has NEOs, Apple Notebooks and laptops in every classroom. Even kindergartners are using NEOs, district officials note.
“There is a lot of different technology we are using,” Epcke said. “It is not just one thing. We have NEOs where younger students use the screen to practice their typing. We have students getting math facts and writing on NEOs.”
Epcke said the district will continue to look at its options as technology continues to evolve.
“There are a lot of tools out there,” Epcke said.
District 67 currently uses Odyssey, Web 2.0 and Google Apps for Education as learning tools for students.
According to the 2020 Vision Framework, all fifth- and sixth-graders will be able to participate in 21st Century classrooms with 1:1 Netbooks during this school year. By next school year, according to district plans, all fifth- through eighth-graders will be assigned a Netbook or similar device.
Also, according to district technology plans, by the 2013-14 school year:
• Each classroom will have one computer for every five students for movie-making and other projects.
• Each student will have a school-assigned e-mail.
• Students in grades three and four will have NEO2 computers at a rate of one for every three students.
• Students in kindergarten through second grade will have one computer per four students.
Amy Lamberti was a fifth-grader teacher for nine years and was one of the first district teachers to have students assigned their own computer. When reviewing her technology efforts with district officials, she said, “Not all teachers get this.”
It was at that point Lamberti was made a tech coach for teachers, students and parents. She is in her second year as a district tech coach.
Lamberti said teaching youth has changed in the technology age.
“We have to captivate them,” Lamberti said.