A contribution from a Saskatoon-based foundation will help promote literacy and inclusion through the use of technology at Sutherland School.
On June 9, the Angels and Friends Foundation presented the school with the components to create audio learning stations – six iPads along with noise-cancelling headphones and other accessories. The donation is valued at $7,000.
Principal David Crowell said the foundation’s contribution will have a big impact in terms of broadening opportunities for student learning and engagement.
“It creates inclusive opportunities for students,” said Crowell, pointing to situations where a student may not have the reading comprehension to succeed, but can now use an audio book format to access the material and remain engaged in learning with classmates.
“As a school you are going to see these in action. One option now is when we do a novel study somebody might be able to do that with an audio book and we’ll get instant feedback from that. We all like technology in this school.”
Josh Gervais of the Angels and Friends Foundation told students that the audio learning technology is a perfect fit for the foundation’s goal of providing inclusive opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities.
“Every student will have the ability to contribute to the learning experience of the group. Regardless of intellectual ability students will come together and really learn how to interact with each other in a positive way,” Gervais said.
“This really does have the potential to impact all of the students in the school. All 340 will have the ability to access it in the classroom, not just the resource room, and that is really why we are happy to present this technology to Sutherland School.”
The contribution to Sutherland School is the first school-based partnership for the foundation.
The portability of the iPad allows it to be a part of the regular classroom. Noise-cancelling headphones means its use is not disruptive to other students, and multi-plug headphone jacks will allow several students to use a single device at the same time to share in the learning experience
The technology also provides flexibility in approaches to learning for students with unique needs. Resource and classroom teachers will the opportunity to use a variety of apps to engage students and gather feedback on their learning and progress.